I’m Jane Barry, I’m a writer and I’m passionate about creativity, beauty and living life to the full.
Since starting this blog in 2012 I’ve written my first novel, it’s currently at editing stage. This year I’ve also taken up painting, another lifelong ambition, I even learned to drive, finally. I’ve never been happier and now I want the same for everyone.
In the past I’ve been a Fashion Model, a Student, a Single Mother, a Student again and then a PR before starting my own PR Consultancy Business. I specialised in Arts, Tourism, SME start ups, Business Mentoring, Peace Building and Community Development. I also worked as Producer and Creative Director of a successful Traditional Performing Arts Company I founded along with my siblings for eleven years.
I’m married to Adrian, a farmer, financial administrator and boxing coach with a passion for the land, for politics and for me of course! We have three amazing daughters and live in the rugged North West of Ireland, very rural, wild and green. We grow some of our own food and have just started permaculture. We have dreams of self-sufficiency and are passionate about sustainable living. We love good food, wine, cooking and entertaining, having friends and family over.
Before settling back here I spent some years living, studying and working in Dublin (media/pr/community development) as well as seeing a bit of the world. I’m a country girl but I love cities, Dublin in particular holds a special place in my heart.
Here we designed and built our dream home.
The house is a canvas, a muse, it inspires me. I enjoy decorating, vignetting, photographing and sketching it. It’s like an extension of whatever it is I’m dreaming in the moment. I spend a lot of time here…
We’ve a small farm on the mountain, a large garden and a wonderful life. Like everyone, I’ve had my hardships and heartaches, I’ve known poverty, exclusion, bullying, failure and loss. I know we’re lucky and believe me we’re never complacent but grateful for all that we’ve got.
I already mentioned I want everyone to be as happy and fulfilled as I am, why? Because it’s possible, because it’s living, because it’s contagious, because it’s SIMPLE, yes really! And for some reason I feel driven to share that.
Ok so it’s not simple to get past ourselves, past our ‘blocks’ I struggle with this daily. It’s more simple to watch tv than set up for an activity, I know it, but I also know it’s worth the effort and that’s what I consciously practice.
The simplicity is in how something that seems so simple and innocent like writing or painting or whatever it is you really want to do or used to love as a child, has such magic in it, the power to make you happy, in what feels disproportionate to the action itself. Trust me, everyone who does it says the same.
What else? Oh yes, because life is short but it’s never too late, unless you’ve decided that fate.
As for me, always creative, always artistic, I finally made a firm commitment to it. Even as a tiny child knew I was a writer, an artist in my soul. I knew it but I wasn’t really doing anything conscious with it like ‘actual’ writing for example.
Sure it came through in everyday life, how I dressed myself, my home, my thoughts and my work even in how much of an alien I felt, like there was no one in the world like me, but there was a distinct lack of conscious creation and the problem was I didn’t know how to do that. I had no frame of reference, no experience, just a deep, couldn’t explain it, restless, knowing.
I was me but not a fully realised me.
So what changed? What enabled me to make the move to conscious creation, to ‘actual’ writing every day, to blogging and painting, to writing a novel?
Lets just say that following a hard time in my life, illness and medical trauma, I lost myself. I was determined to get back but I wasn’t sure how I could do it. Through it all my Dad was always saying ‘Jane, you should be writing.’
I’d been writing for work but not ‘creatively’ since my school days. I tried, it wasn’t pretty but I realised how could it be? I wasn’t getting any practice!!! That should be a sensible thought right? And yet I think that’s what puts us off is not being great from the start. So now I’m a writer because a writer writes and can’t help it, can’t stop, and that’s what I do. What kind of writer will I be five years from now? Ten years? Twenty? I don’t know, all I know for sure is better than I am right now, that forming the habit is key.
The reason I started this blog was to give me a forum and the kick start to practice my writing, as an adventure, to see where it would lead me and I hoped, to help me find more of my soul tribe, those crazy people that are my kind of crazy, and I hoped it would one day lead me to writing that novel I knew I had in me.
Best – decision – ever!!!
I’ve discovered too that writing’s a great way to get to know yourself, to make sense of the world, for healing, for therapy. You think at first and you worry about putting yourself out there when what you are really doing is discovering yourself and therein lies freedom. We all have our worries and fears, that’s what makes us all the same, all boring.
It’s our passions that make us interesting, they’re worth finding, need honouring, revealing, nurturing, commitment and work.
I’ve a long way to go, a lot to learn yet but the point is I’m committed and I’m doing it, therefore I’m happy.
I have a calling to artistry, to create, to see, to make and reflect the beautiful and to encourage people.
I don’t see any limits for anyone.
I don’t want anyone to give up because it’s never too late to find these things, to live your truth.
These beliefs or quirks if you like, give all I do focus and are I think what people take from this blog and from my popular FB page. What so many have communicated to me these past few years is they find things like happiness, encouragement, peace, permission and inspiration here. You’ve told me in droves I inspire you, a thing I would never presume. Like I said I’ve a lot be grateful for.
So that’s a potted history so you have some small idea who you’re dealing with, if this is a space for you, that feeds your soul and whose book I hope you’ll be reading…this time next year hopefully.
Beyond that anything’s possible, more books are a given, a return to business and perhaps life coaching feels natural, a call to some kind of design is appealing, interior or surface perhaps, more painting is certain. Anything and all things are possible.
Once again THANK YOU for being here.
Some of Your Letters…
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 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 flimsey, fluffy or wish 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..