Saturday, November 9, 2013

Follow Your Bliss, Mary Kay Andrews Style!

I recently attended a book signing event for Mary Kay Andrew's newest book, Christmas Bliss.  As always she was gracious and expressed gratitude to her readers and to the indie book store, Foxtale Book Shoppe, for supporting her and coming out for the event.  Dressed in her Mrs. Claus inspired dress, Andrews was at once down to earth and personal as she shared how she develops her stories and creates characters that readers love.  In Christmas Bliss, Andrews continues of the saga of Weezie Foley, a picker and antique dealer and her best friend Bebe Loudermilk.

As I listened to her talk about her career as a writer, I was struck by her statement that when she writes she writes about what she loves; junking, home decor, Christmas collectibles, the beach, especially Tybee Island and Savannah.  She is not the only writer who has followed this advice. 

Author, Mary Alice Monroe is devoted to the environment and currently involved in saving dolphins.  Her latest book, Summer Girls is set at the beach and involves these lovable creatures as an integral part of the story.

Lisa Wingate, author of The Prayer Box writes about characters who have great challenges in their personal lives and find healing and guidance through faith.  When she isn't writing,one of Lisa's passions is teaching Sunday School class to high school students and guiding them through the challenges of teen life.

Do What You Love

I think there is good advice for writers and other creatives in this message.  What do you love to do?  What are you passionate about?  Where do your interests lie? What would be fun to research, learn about or spend your time doing?  Chances are if you follow your bliss, you will not only create something worthwhile that others will appreciate but you will have a great time doing it as well!

Some of the best advice given to me when I was contemplating moving beyond my job as a school counselor and was feeling overwhelmed with determining the direction to go in was this, "Start with the low hanging fruit."  In other words, what do you already know about, what are you already an expert in and what do you most enjoy to the point that you would do it even if you didn't make money doing it?  For me this was writing stories for children that helped them learn many of the concepts that I was already teaching them in my job as a guidance counselor. 

Look for the Need in the World

It's not enough to just identify your passion, however.  You must translate your passion into a  solution to a need or at least a want in the world.  You might be passionate about eating pizza for instance, but probably no one will pay you to eat pizza.  You can't make a career of that.  However, you might become an expert at making pizza.  You might establish a pizza restaurant that was a unique experience.  You might write a pizza cookbook. Mary Kay Andrews is successful at least in part because the things she likes to write about junking, antiquing and relationships are things that readers love as well. 

Do you wonder how to follow these authors' examples and take your passion to the next level?  I hope you will join the Called Woman Creative Team, Sunday, November 10th for our free webinar:  Taking the Leap-How to Become Unstuck without Becoming Unglued.  You can sign up here:

Mark your calendars for the Called Woman Conference coming up March 15th where you can spend a whole day reinventing your life and discovering your passion:  Read all about it and sign up here:

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1 comment:

  1. I was always told to write what you know and write from experience. This is great advice as always, Lynne!