The Watering Hole Blog

Je Voyage à Paris!

Je Voyage à Paris!


A Writer's Paris book cover

“The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized within the lifetime of the opportunity.”

Leonard Ravenhill

“Paris improves your writing because it teaches you something profound about intimacy,” writes Eric Maisel in his beautiful book, A Writer’s Paris; A Guided Journey for the Creative Soul.

“You can walk by the Seine,” Maisel continues, “it is there for the touching. You can sit down at a cafe table and let life envelop you. You can enter an ancient church and use it as your study. These lessons infiltrate your writing and cause you to write more poignantly.”

SIGN ME UP! I said to the Universe, after reading Eric Maisel’s exquisite and inspiring book.

And wouldn’t you know it but apparently the Universe was listening because shortly after reading A Writer’s Paris, the opportunity to actually write in Paris presented itself to me on a silver platter…by the same friend, Trisha, who GAVE me A Writer’s Paris in the first place!

Six months ago, Trisha sent me the book after reading it herself in Paris – because she knew it would be right up my alley. Her boyfriend lives in Paris, which is why she’d been there. And wouldn’t you know it, but said boyfriend would, of course, be coming back to Canada at some point to visit Trisha…and when that time came, perhaps I might be interested in staying in his apartment?

For free.

Oui. You read correctly.

After I picked myself up off the floor, I said…YES!!! Which was quickly followed by a huge THANK YOU!

And so, that’s how it came to pass that yours truly will soon be departing for Paris to write and explore and eat as many chocolate croissants as is humanly possible in two weeks.

“The cafe is the writer’s home. You can write at your desk, you can write at your cubicle at work, you can write – if you are a writer – anywhere. But cafes are your heaven. For the price of a cup of a coffee, you get a table upon which to write, a lively scene to watch, and a thousand years of humanist tradition.”

– Eric Maisel, A Writer’s Paris

Fueled by cappuccino and croissants, my first stop will be Place des Vosges. “Each time I arrive in Paris, I head directly for the Place des Vosges,” writes Maisel, “the most beautiful square in the world.”

“Now, as you unpack your picnic lunch from your wicker hamper and spread out with your writing pad and your lover on the grass of the Place des Vosges, consider yourself celebrating tolerance and diversity. Go the next step and dream up a writing project so different from any you’ve previously contemplated that it constitutes a complete departure. Consider it your homage to the ideals of democracy.”

– Eric Maisel, A Writer’s Paris

With a lover in tow or not (probably not but you never know), I shall then head to the nearby Jardin Saint Gilles Grand Veneur: “A perfect park and garden that will take your breath away…and you may feel that complicated sorrow that makes every creative person an Existentialist.”

But what if I go to Paris and not write? Will I be disappointed in myself? Interestingly, several friends have expressed concern about my intention to do some writing while I am in Paris…wouldn’t I rather just wait and see how I feel when I get there?

Hah! If I waited until I FELT like writing, I would never get much writing done. For many years now, my approach at home has been to make a commitment to write for at least ninety minutes, first thing on weekday mornings. Writing has become as important – and routine – to me as breathing. I don’t care how I feel when I turn on the computer…because I know I will feel far WORSE if I don’t write.

“You can return from Paris with excuses or with a manuscript.”

 – Eric Maisel, A Writer’s Paris

The project I’ll be working on in Paris is a screenplay and although I don’t expect to come home with a finished first draft, a decent start will suffice. As long as I put in a total of 15 hours of writing over the two weeks, I’ll be happy…regardless of what I create.

So it won’t be all work, I promise. But just to make sure I do have lots of FUN and fully experience all that Paris has to offer, there was a fairly last minute change of plans and the Universe is now sending my sister-in-law, Tracey, to join me for part of my trip 🙂

Salut and stay tuned!

Subsequent Paris blogs by Maryanne:

Je suis arrivé à Paris!

Deux Pope à Paris :)

Lost in the Louvre

A Few More Pretty Paris Pics

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and the Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her weekly blog, please sign up here.


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10 thoughts on “Je Voyage à Paris!”

  1. I’m beyond excited for you! This adventure sounds like a perfect getaway to write and relax!! What thoughtful, generous friends.

  2. Bon voyage!!! We’ll have to have a chat before you leave (I believe that is on August 29th?) — I love this post you wrote — and I have faith in your disciplined approach to writing — and just know the results will be exciting.

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