Saturday, April 2, 2016

B is for Bliss

Follow your bliss. ~ Joseph Campbell

The first time I heard of Joseph Campbell was in my Senior Humanities class. We were watching parts of the conversation between him and Bill Moyers about The Power of Myth and the Hero's Journey. I can't tell you exactly what struck me about the whole conversation, but I remember being in awe that storytelling can reflect our real lives in such a profound way--even if the story is science fiction. I grew up enamored with Star Wars, so Mr. Campbell finding additional depth from Luke's story instantly attracted me. 

I'm a little embarrassed to admit I haven't read much of Campbell's work. Behind me is a bookshelf loaded with books, one of which is "The Hero with a Thousand Faces," but I've never made it all the way through. But I haven't donated it to my local literacy council yet, either. It's there for a reason. 

Although I haven't read his books fully, I am still inspired by his quotes, like the one above: Follow your bliss. My husband spends hours practicing his guitar, and lately his focus has been on his surf guitar band--which nobody in this town seems to have much interest in. "Why do I keep doing it?" he told me he asks himself sometimes. I answered, "Because you love it." 

When I find myself in one of my ruts, I also find myself envious of his dedication. For whatever reason, following the advice I would give any other writer falls on deaf ears when I'm talking to myself: "No, YOU get your butt in the chair! I don't feel like it." I KNOW that if I spent even half the amount of time writing that he spends strumming that guitar, I would have 2 or more complete books written by now. So why don't I do it? Isn't it my bliss? Shouldn't I follow it? If I don't, won't it get lost and not know its way back? 

Maybe that's what happened. I let my writing bliss wander off for a while; I allowed it to have a little adventure, maybe to build up a bit of muscle. Because when I reign that bliss in again, it needs to be ready to work!

Enjoy your journey, 


  1. Thank you for sharing this, Tina.

    I've been writing for years but am in something of a rut at this moment in time also. It's one of the hardest passions to have but also one of the most rewarding.

    1. That's why I'm doing this challenge. Get me doing something again-- Or at least finish something daily. I start many things. But don't finish. If I was Luke Skywalker, I'd still be hanging out in the cantina.

  2. Isn't it always so much easier to give advice than to listen to the advice we give--in writing and in life in general? That's one of those lessons I've had to learn over and over again. If I took even a tiny bit of the wisdom I'm always offering up to others and applied it to my own life, I can't even imagine how far I would've gotten by now.

    1. So true! I look back at some of the stuff in my own blog and think--hey, that's a great idea-- I should do THAT! I'm not going to beat myself up about it though. Ebb and flow...


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