Finding Yourself Through Art
When I started writing my Muses of Mayfair series, I didn’t intend for it to become a message about finding and following your dreams. I just wanted to write some feisty dialog and hot sex between passionate, artistic women and the delightfully brooding men who love them. Of course, I kept the feistiness and the sex (I wouldn’t have it any other way!). But I also learned a lot about my own passions – and discovered an artistic side that I’d never really acknowledged before.
I’ve always been good with words. Other forms of art, not so much. When I was six, I entered a drawing in the children’s art division at my county fair in rural Iowa. Happily, I won the gorgeous grand champion ribbon with the big purple rosette for “Best Drawing – Crayon.” That all sounds great, until you learn that the judge thought I’d drawn a lovely clown, when it was supposed to be a self-portrait!
So my dreams of being an artist were dashed. I also love to sing, but what I lack in tune, I make up for with volume (not a recommended strategy). And my acting is mostly laughable, although I managed to get parts in high school plays due to the extreme lack of population and my general disregard for my own popularity.
But my Muses of Mayfair series is all about a group of women who secretly pursue their artistic passions, despite all the risks to their reputations. While I was writing the first book, Heiress Without A Cause, I realized that even though I am pursuing writing full time, I never really acknowledged my writing as “art.” Maybe it was because I’ve always been good at math and Excel spreadsheets. Maybe I thought my left brain had murdered my right brain in a mercy killing after all my failures at drawing, painting, sculpture, singing, etc. Maybe I suffered a bit of shame over writing “trash,” which I’m now completely over.
There’s something so liberating, though, about treating something as art. There aren’t mistakes in art, the way there are with equations. Art requires exploration, innovation, and experimentation – and gives lots of excuses to read books, watch movies, and play around in the name of feeding your muse.
Your art could be your gardening, or your knitting, or your cooking. Wherever you’re able to create, you have the ability to nurture a passion and see where it takes you. And if you’re anything like my heroines, you may find that diving into your passion makes everything else in life just a little sweeter.
What arts do you pursue? One lucky commenter will win an ebook of my debut novel, Heiress Without A Cause, which is available now as a Nook First exclusive and will be available on Kindle and other major ebook retailers on February 24th. Contest open until 11:59pm EST Feb 23rd. Winner announced on the 24th.
Sara Ramsey writes fun, feisty Regency historical romances. She won the prestigious 2009 Romance Writers of America Golden Heart award with her first book, Scotsmen Prefer Blondes (formerly titled An Inconvenient Marriage). The prequel, Heiress Without A Cause (formerly titled One Night to Scandal), was a 2011 Golden Heart finalist.
Sara grew up in a small town in Iowa, and her obsession with fashion, shoes, and all things British is clearly a rebellion against her hopelessly uncool youth. She graduated from Stanford University in 2003 with a degree in Symbolic Systems (also known as cognitive science) and a minor in history. Sara subsequently worked at Google for seven years in a variety of sales, management, and communications roles. She left Google in 2010 to pursue her writing career full time. Read all about her Regency obsessions and upcoming works at www.SaraRamsey.com. Or, follow her slightly ridiculous Twitter feed, @Sara_Ramsey.