Hello, and the warmest of welcomes to you. I’m Jane, writer, escape artist, creative enabler, rebel in chief and curator here @thatcuriousloveofgreen. Your one stop shop for creative living.
Here’s a few things you might like to know…
For 39 years I was one of the 64% of people who know they’re not living their creative potential. And I found myself at home for the first time, with babies, no car, little means, and no place to go. In two of the worst winters in living memory.
I was also still suffering the effects of medical traumas that had really crushed my ‘ness.’ To quote the Mad Hatter…because who else;
‘You used to be much muchier, you’ve lost your muchness.’
That was me. But I was determined to get it back. I knew I wanted to write, to paint, and have a freer more creative existence. I just didn’t know how to get it. Or at least I thought I didn’t.
Friends I started a blog, I hadn’t written creatively in over 20 years but within a year I started writing a novel. That in turn gave me the confidence to take up another life-long ambition, to paint.
Since then I’ve built a successful lifestyle and creativity blog with a following of over 25,000 people. I’ve written my first novel, #Cailleach (Witch) A modern gothic tale that is currently out on submission. And I’ve written a non-fiction book on creativity that I’m illustrating with my own art and photographs.
The creativity book explores how I did all this. How I regained my ‘ness’ and started living my life’s potential, through the power of creativity. From zero, to hero of my own life.
As the great Jack London said… ‘The most beautiful stories always start with wreckage.’
I share my ideas in the book for how anyone can use creativity to improve every area of life, and build a stronger, happier you.
But there’s more…
As if all that wasn’t enough, this process, writing the book especially, changed my life in other ways I hadn’t expected because it sparked an awakening.
What I discovered was that a deep writing or other creative practice, is a form of deep meditation. That’s not something I was ever able to consciously do, now I was doing it without knowing.
Flow states, bliss, connectedness, detachment, a dark night of the soul, awakening. I found all of these through writing. And I found my healing, inner peace, and strength I’d never known.. I became very clear in my purpose, braver, more resilient.
Since this happened, not that there’s an end to this process, there’s nothing I love more than to help others have a similar experience of their own. I believe I can help anyone who wants to. I believe in the power of creativity to change the world.
I’m passionate about many things, writing, creativity, family, home, reading, art, nature, food, style, interiors, evolution, feminism, and world building. In personal freedom, happiness, a better world, and finding new and better ways to live that cares for the earth and all who share it. If that sounds like you then I know you’ll feel right at home here.
I hope you’ll feel free to engage with me here on blog, on FB That Curious Love of Green, where I post daily, and on Instagram @janembarry
In these spaces I share a wide variety of goodness, snippets of everyday life with my family in rural Ireland. Along with my creative process, inspirations, the occasional rant, plus anything I find beautiful, inspiring, and helpful, to the creative soul.
I’m excited to tell you that in 2018 I plan to host a series of creative writing classes from our home, and hope to offer some day long writing and creativity retreats also.
If you’d like me to give a writing and/or creativity workshop for your group/event you can get in touch with me by email firstname.lastname@example.org
My professional background is pr, arts management, and business coaching. That’s proved a good foundation for my creative work and growth. I’ve hosted several creativity and writing events since starting the blog, most of those online. As well as one to one life, business, and creativity coaching.
At home I’m mother to three girls who amaze me every day, Shaylyn, a writer and fashion stylist, and the little ones, Saoirse and Sadhbh. I’ve been married ten years to a wonderful, modern man (of course) Adrian. His work and passions are politics, farming, boxing, and me, not necessarily in that order. We live in the north west of Ireland, County Leitrim to be precise. It’s rugged, wild, and peaceful, the way only wild places can be.
Our home inspires me. It’s a playground, a canvas. It’s a home that feeds creativity, for all of us. Our closest neighbour, across an open field, is my brother and his family, in what was our grandparents house. My parents live just a mile away. The local landscape is a deep well of inspiration too. We have a wild garden and a small farm on the Sliabh an Iarainn mountain. This mountain landscape where I grew up is the soul and inspiration of my first novel, Cailleach.
I spend my days writing, mostly when the girls are at school. My favourite themes are women, the sibling relationship, wild nature, houses, and creativity of course. I have a weakness for the gothic. My novel has been compared to the style of Daphne du Maurier and believe me, I can live with that.
I’ve had a wonderful 2017 and my plan for winter is to keep working on the creativity book, and then do one more re-write of my novel, that will make it an even ten re-writes. I’ve been sending it out to agents all year and the rejections are piling up. I’ve also entered it in about five, I think, novel writing competitions.
If it doesn’t get snapped up soonish I’m going to take my publishing fate into my own hands and publish it myself. Publishing the creativity book will be a learning/trial run for doing just that. The odds of getting hooked out of the slush pile aren’t great but I’m giving it a shot because, why not?
Rejection doesn’t bother me. It’s just another part of the process. I’ve had some really positive feedback but at the end of the day I’m one of upwards of 600 submissions each agent is getting, a week. A lot of writing going on out there.
One good thing if I self-publish is it will be out next year and I for one can’t wait. Honestly, there are people here who’ve been with me from before I started this journey, that’s five years waiting for one book. Has to be true love. I PROMISE, it will be worth the wait.
I hope these pages will help you embrace your passions, and keep you company as you travel your own path.
Some of Your Letters…
Firstly, I think of where you live and go a little green with envy. But mostly I think about the greens of growth and expansion of the mind and spirit, like layer upon layer of experience and emotion that add depth to the creative character in anyone open to the adventure.
I think that’s what you are encouraging in others with your openness and your explorations.
And sometimes it’s just nice to know there are other people in the world who care about the souls out there they’ve never met on this physical plain. With what is going on right now in my country (these awful elections) opening up your blog is like the clouds parting after days of roiling clouds. Thank you.” Marilee
Jane is inspirational, creativity queen extraordinaire. She’s carved a community out of the clear blue, and I am so privileged to have been in her first and subsequent creativity bootcamps. I learned to channel the devastation and losses in my life, and resurrected my writing. It had been the crucial piece of my recovery from domestic violence and the losses of death, divorce and owning my story as an abuse survivor. Thank you Jane’ – Melissa
Met you briefly at the organic centre a few months ago and have been following your blog ever since. I love your random dips into fashion, culture, food, education and society- its benefits and ills. Some days you make me laugh, others I smile or even cry. Anyway, I saw the following piece elsewhere yesterday and thought of you. It’s what I love most about your blog – your CREATIVITY – Hope you like it. Thanks for the elements of grace and beauty you bring to everyday life… it reminds me to LIVE life. Marian x
Just had to drop you a line. I have been following you for a bit now and the images, quotes, poems, etc you post never fail to bring a smile to my face. Thank you for sending out kindness and beauty. It’s appreciated. Elizabeth
Dear Jane, Keep up the fab work.Without wanting to sound like a fruit cake you have inspired me. I have taken out my old box of watercolours, and promised the kids we will paint this evening. I used to be creative but bar cooking have forgotten that side of me. Aisling.
Dear Jane adore your blog, the poetry and images the food and shopping lists can so relate.. Think you create a very special presence and the whole tone and depth of your postings is so very beautiful and meaningful..and utterly smart and not at all flimsy, fluffy or wishy washy. I applaud what you do your courage and intellect. From another sensitive, witchy fearsome do absolutely her own thing always soul. Just wanted to show you support and urge you on, for you to know what you do is very special wonderful work, with kindest regards Maria..
What followers are saying about Jane’s ‘Creativity Coaching and Bootcamps’…
‘This is a fabulous experience! I’ve been here since the October bootcamp and have no intention of leaving. I’ve found support, inspiration, and affirmation…as well as a bunch of new friends who I wouldn’t trade for anything!’ – Kim Smith, Tennessee, U.S
‘This is an exceptional place to share your hopes and dreams for a creative future!! It is such a safe and welcoming space. I have been here since the October creative Bootcamp and it has been such a wonderful experience!! Everyone in the group had fears and reservations about sharing their innermost creative dreams, but once you say ‘the words and soak up the warmth and encouragement you will feel like you can achieve anything!! Please if you can just give it a try, you won’t be disappointed!!!’ – Michelle Bermingham
”This has been a pivotal experience in my life. I’d put away the creative part of myself for so long, only using in cases where I could blend it with something that could be deemed productive. It is like a part of me has reawakened. Creativity itself is productive, we are here to create the life we want.
The group is such a wonderful collection of expressive, compassionate, encouraging and endearing souls. If you are looking for a place to be brave, this is it.” – Melissa Steffy
”The Creativity Bootcamp has been a key to re-start the stalled Artist inside my heart – I’m already loving the Salon and can’t wait to see what this next year will bring! Encouragement, inspiration, and beauty on all sides… I think this was exactly what I’ve been needing for years, without knowing I needed it. Onward and upward!!’ – Jules Sevenky, Kentucky, US
‘I totally recommend this for any creative individual. I did the bootcamp. I am overjoyed I did, it has led to so many sparks of inspiration, new friendship, fun and advice. I am a blogger and the writing tips I have garnered have been amazing. I write confidently from the soul now.’ – Kathryn O’Sullivan
”Where to start? The October Bootcamp gave me focus. Daily accountable focus to do something I’d wanted for so long. The way everyone interacted, sparking off new ways of looking at old ideas has been, and I know this sounds cliched, a huge wake up call. I’ve always created but lacked the discipline to do it every day.”
To integrate my personal path of creativity into my everyday life until I was just ‘doing’ it with almost every breath seemed an impossible thing. Now not a moment goes by where I don’t ponder my next step.
They say it takes 6 months to retrain the brain into new habits and I feel a good measure along that path already. The Salon is the natural extension of the Bootcamp. A comfortable home to venture into after a day of mundanities. Where one can get sit down and talk about what ideas have cropped up, how best to express oneself and feel like you’ve plonked down into a comfortable chair to talk with those who just ‘understand’ and embrace your creativity.” – Tig Beswick, Canberra, Australia
”The first bootcamp was my greatest gift of 2015 –it deepened my creative practice, led me into my long-lost tribe, connected me to my kindred spirits, and helped me deal with the plagues of pursuing a creative life — the doubts, fears, guilt, and anger, to name a few.
If you have ever wondered and looked for a safe but productive place for your inner artist, then consider participating in the 2nd Creativity Bootcamp in February.
It doesn’t matter whether that inner artist is a seed, a sprout, a shaky shrub, or a full-grown tree — the bootcamp will help you with what you need at your particular creative stage.
I was a misshapen bonsai, but now I am definitely something else that grows in a magical forest.” – Marichit Garcia, Artist at Ink & Water, Pasig, Philippines.