Guest Author Melissa Foster: How Does Your Environment Affect You?

The Mountain Muse welcomes best-selling author, Melissa Foster!

Melissa Foster is the award-winning author of three International bestselling novels, Megan’s Way, Chasing Amanda, and Come Back to Me. She has also been published in Indie Chicks, an anthology. Melissa is on the advisory board for the Alliance of Independent Authors and is a touchstone in the indie publishing arena. When she’s not writing, Melissa teaches authors how to navigate the book marketing world, build their platforms, and leverage the power of social media, through her author-training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa is the founder of the World Literary Café, Fostering Success, and the Women’s Nest. She has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine. Melissa is currently collaborating on the film adaption of Megan’s Way.
Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children, she’s written for Calgary’s Child Magazine and Women Business Owners Magazine, and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family. Melissa’s interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping women see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod.

How Does Your Environment Affect You? By Melissa Foster

Angela, thank you for sharing your blog space with me today. I love visiting the blogs of other authors—there is so much wonderful information and it’s always so different. Since your blog is the “Mountain Muse,” I’ve decided to write about the environment, and how it affects us.

I noticed an interesting thing this past weekend. I tend to work very long hours. Often times, I won’t leave my desk for twelve hours straight. Yeah, not very healthy in many regards—I have that writer’s butt making itself known recently, but that’s another story all togetherJ This weekend, I decided to push my computer work aside, print out a friend’s manuscript that I had promised to beta read, and head outdoors. The sun was shining, there was a gentle breeze, and within fifteen minutes of being away from my keyboard and monitor, a few very exciting things happened—I was breathing deeper, my mind was wandering into unchartered territory with story ideas, and my shoulders climbed down from their new residence, just below my ears.

I’m a visual person driven by my senses, and I react to my surroundings on many levels. I think we all do. I have to be surrounded by windows when I write, or I feel like my mind is too closed. I need to drink ice water, or my insides feel constricted. And, I discovered, that even though I love writing and working on the World Lit Café or the Women’s Nest, I need the time away from the computer in order to rejuvenate my mind.

We have a relatively short amount of time on this earth, and while the social media side of life is exciting, and new avenues for meeting other writers, and connecting with readers, are opening up every week, I fear we are becoming so closed off that we forget what life is really about. Life is not lived within four walls. Life is what happens around us, it’s the growing trees, the bees and the yes, even the stink bugs and flies. Life is the scent of pollen that makes us sneeze and the tickle of the wind on our arms. Life is the smile my son has on his lips that dances all the way up to his eyes when I chase him around the yard. Life is also what we do when we’re indoors, but for me, I’ve discovered, the indoor life cannot be as rich and fulfilling, if I’m missing out on the outdoor life.

What rejuvenates you? What makes your mind wander and your senses heighten? Keep it clean, no x-rated answers here, this is a lovely blog, let’s not hog it up. Seriously, folks, when you have the chance to dance in the rain, do you take it? I get the stink eye for dancing in puddles with my children. But what are those puddles for if not for experiencing them?

What have you done to rejuvenate recently?

Where to Find Melissa:

My Books

My Website

Follow me, Facebook, Twitter, FB Fanpage

Chat w/me on The Women’s Nest

The World Literary Cafe, Where readers and authors unite!

CLICK HERE to enter Melissa’s summer giveaways – TWO WINNER EACH WEEK!

Pete, Jen, Les, and Melissa – July 2011

Thank you, Melissa, for stopping by The Mountain Muse!

If you enjoy Melissa’s suspense-driven novels, check out BENEATH the MAYAN MOON  and LUCIDITY by Angela Burke.
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11 responses to “Guest Author Melissa Foster: How Does Your Environment Affect You?

  1. Thanks for stopping by our blog, Melissa! I feel blessed to live in such a beautiful setting – Colorado. Long aimless hikes and endless trail runs help me to generate my best story ideas! Nature is essential for the soul!

  2. Great post! Melissa I also need to have a lot of windows when I write. We spent the summer last year in a house that overlooked beautiful foothills. I started my first book there and almost finished 86,000 words in 3 months. We moved into a very small, dark mobile home and my creative juices ran dry and my writing almost came to a screeching halt.I have struggled with getting a synopsis written, along with getting more than a few chapters of my second book written. Environment is HUGE for me with my writing.

    Thankfully, we are moving into a new place that is similar to the house in the foothills. LOL…again it is only for 3 months. However, we will be looking for a more permanent place while we are there and I now know what to avoid while we are looking.

    Now I need to get back to packing and then taking a walk!

    • Lisa, nice to hear from you! I would pull a chair outside and shade your monitor – working outside might offer the sensory injections you’re craving – at least until you move! I totally hear ya’ on drawing from our surroundings. Congrats on your 86K!!

  3. Lol, now isn’t that the truth, Carl! Hi there! I, too, think we all have too much screen time. Between our cell phones, iPads, computers, and televisions, we forget that life begins when we’re outside…
    Thanks for stopping by, Carl. Nice to hear from you!

  4. Wow! Thanks. I’ll be going outside now to read a book. Even thought my day job is outside, I have my mind on work. Now to inspire writing, I will go and look around a little.

    Lehrer’s book Imagine has a study in it about how the color blue heightens creativity – blue like the sky. Red is good for edit time and promotes precision. Thanks for writing.

  5. Nice post, Melissa. I think it’s essential for writers to get out and about to help fuel new ideas from what we come across outside.

    What rejuvenates me? Right now, I’d like to go for a run and feel the breeze against my face and my lungs straining for air.

  6. Great post, Melissa. It really is so important for writers to escape to the outdoors every once in a while. I write my first draft of everything the old fashioned way (notebook and pen) for that very reason. A good friend of mine lives on the bay and that is by far my favorite place to unwind. Luckily for me, he’s not home very often so I take advantage at least a few times a week.

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