Today, I’m excited to highlight the work of our wonderful contributor, Fiona Bessey-Bushnell! Fiona certainly has her hands full with her family, a full-time job, and lots of writing, so we are very happy to have her in the Scoutie Girl family!
- Do you consider yourself a visual artist, a literary artist, a combination of both, or something completely different? Why?
I greatly appreciate storytelling – whether it is through photography or writing. Sometimes I prefer to consider my photographs as standing alone to convey a story. Other times I use writing to complement the visual story. I appreciate how stories, no matter what medium is used, can capture an idea, a mood, or a new perspective.
- When you’re in a creative rut, what’s the best way for you to get inspired?
A seasoned writer once reminded me of Sean Connery’s line in the movie, Finding Forrester: “No thinking – that comes later. You must write your first draft with your heart. You rewrite with your head. The first key to writing is…to write, not to think!” It usually helps me get started with the writing process.
- When did you first realize it was time to pursue your creative goals?
Although I have dabbled with writing all my life, I began to write with greater purpose and intention in my early 40s as part of a search for greater balance. My work life had overtaken my personal life and I relished the opportunity to create on my terms.When I first started, it was hard to try to find time to fit it in and it was easy to make excuses to do something else. Now it is challenging to NOT write. It has become my therapy. The biggest plus is that writing is a very inexpensive creative outlet – all you need is pen and paper (or tablet, etc. if you choose to go high tech!) – and you can do it anywhere.
- Do you have a favorite place to work?
My favorite place to write is at a local coffee shop and wine bar. The owner is from Italy, and it has a strong European flavor, with a “slow food” atmosphere, good conversation, and no particular sense of urgency about anything. It is not uncommon for the owner to break out a bottle of wine to enjoy with friends who stop by and they demonstrate a boisterous camaraderie. I usually do not know anyone in the shop, so I can create amid the din of conversation and the clanking of cappuccino cups. The promise of an Italian treat to eat after I have finished my writing project for the moment is also nice perk!
- What’s your favorite city?
That is a very good question. I have many favorites, but my top picks are London, Copenhagen, and Amsterdam.
- Ahead-of-the-game or a procrastinator?
Definitely ahead-of-the-game. In my world, it is all about the plan. This is even evident in my writing, where I might initially have a spontaneous idea, but I develop those ideas with structured writing exercises and planning. It’s just who I am.
- What’s the hardest part about being creative and always having ideas floating around?
Remembering all of my ideas. If feasible, I always try to jot my ideas down, whether on paper or using a mobile device – any way possible – typing, texting, dictating or taking a photo of what I am looking at that inspired me. Once I have an idea, I can usually get in “the flow” easily.
- Anything else you’d like to share?
I am very fond of stationery supplies, pens, and post-it notes. It might actually be considered an obsession.
(You and me both, Fiona!)
Thank you so much for sharing a little more of your world with us, Fiona! To read more from Fiona, check out her articles on Scoutie Girl, RichmondMom and Richmond Family Magazine, or check out her Instagram photos.