Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.
Listening to Joseph Campbell
By Kathy Hall
For a time in the late 1980’s, I was convinced my destiny was to be a screenwriter – me and every other writer in the universe. Consequently, I attended every possible seminar on the subject, read at least a hundred books about screenwriting and cranked out a total of nine screenplays. I’m not a screenwriter today, so what did all those years of work get me?
Several things that mattered. First, I placed highly in the Nicholls Fellowship, a screenwriting contest through the Academy of Motion Pictures. That got me two different agents, of which I chose one who managed to get me some meetings and even coupled me with a writing partner, the daughter of a famous puppeteer. Ultimately, nothing sold.
But here’s the true value in those few years of struggling to learn a new discipline, I found Joseph Campbell. In fact, most of the people in the movie industry found Campbell and adored him throughout that decade. He wrote several books, but it was his theory that mythology was based on a collective consciousness that directors and screenwriters truly embraced and tried to draw on to create blockbusters. In fact, the Stars Wars trilogy was based on The Power of Myth. He also popularized the phrase, ‘Follow your bliss.’ This was my take away.
I repeatedly watched videos of a series of interviews Bill Moyers, of PBS, did with Campbell, and I couldn’t get enough of him saying those words. There was something about his delivery and the light in his eyes when he would declare that one must follow their bliss that bowled me over.
I believed him. Wholeheartedly. I still do today. I have followed my own bliss – writing – through all the various forms I’ve tried – poetry, short stories, journalism – and each time felt I was getting closer and closer to my bliss.
When I began writing my third novel Red Mojo Mama, I finally found exactly the thing he was describing. For me, it was writing fiction in first person. Such joy! I would put on a Michael Buble CD, Crazy Love, and just bounce as the words flowed onto the page. I laughed out loud. I would go into work in yet another mind-numbing corporate environment, completely ecstatic and able to face a grueling day, all because I had spent an hour or two the night before letting my bliss follow through my body and onto the page.
If you do nothing else in your life, let your bliss erupt. Let it overtake you. Give in to it and honor it. If you’re still looking for your bliss, never- ever – give up. It’s out there for everyone, simply to be found.
About Kathy Hall
Kathy Hall is an indie author, blogger, redhead by choice, in love with being an author – mom of two grown children and widow of the most wonderful man to ever live – Devon “Pete” Hall. Follow her blog. Her book Red Mojo Mama is available on Amazon.