Who I am

“You are here. Take your place. Life the adventure.”

I’ve been a professional writer for more than 30 years. I began my career writing and producing documentary TV and film in Chicago and then continued my work in Los Angeles. There were major corporate clients, television networks and prestigious awards.

But in some ways that might have been the least creative period of my life.

If I take a step back, I’d say I first discovered the creative process in my mother’s flowerbeds. My best friend Jan and I loved our troll dolls! We made cities for them in my mother’s garden. We smoothed out the dirt between her plants to build their roads. We sunk empty margarine tubs to give them swimming pools. We renovated shoeboxes to make their homes. And we cut up small pieces of felt to clothe them. Our imaginations ran wild with ideas, and we had the freedom to express ourselves. God bless my mother! We could fill hours creating our troll doll world.

I’ve been exposed to a lot of things creative throughout my life. Even though I went to a very academic school with very little training in the Arts, my parents gave me lessons in dance, music, painting, sewing, horseback riding and much more. I went on to write, play and sing music and to make my living as a professional writer. But, through more than 50 years of living, my experience of the creative process evolved into something deeper, wider, and more essential than any activity I’ve ever done.

For me, the creative journey is not only about what I do, it is also about who I am. It is about activity, but also receptivity. In our materialistic world, we can be so focused on the product – the results we produce – that we lose touch with the process – the lives we live. After years working in one of America’s most glamorized professions, I decided to try something different. And that taught me a lesson:

Every Ending is a New Beginning

2001 was a turning point for me, even before 9/11. I was at an intersection of endings. In a matter of months, I lost my relationship, my home and my job. I knew it was an important time, but I could not see my way through it. I decided to take a risk, a leap into the void. I put all my things in storage and set off on a six-week “walkabout.” I never came back. Trusting the process of my life showed me that it can be trusted. And now 13 years later, I understand the journey I had to take. It is the Hero’s Journey, and we are all on one.

Today I’m a 50-something American woman living between Boulder Colorado, Nice France and southern England. After more than 50 years as a single woman, I married for the first time in 2008. The longer I’ve lived, the more of an adventure my life has become. And today I’m filled with gratitude for all that I have.

I’m as human a being as there ever was. I make mistakes. I struggle. I fail. I get as frustrated as the next person. But I trust the process of my life. I wake up every day and look at my life is an opportunity. What am I going to do with this? What will I create? And that’s made all the difference.