Hot Chocolate and Following Your Bliss: A note from bestselling author MaryJanice Davidson

A few weeks ago we sat down with acclaimed author MaryJanice Davidson, and she offered to write a post about her goals for the New Year. Thanks for sharing MaryJanice (and hope to have you back again soon!).

From the desk of MaryJanice Davidson:

MaryJanice Davidson

MaryJanice Davidson

My goals for this year?  Helping aspiring authors find their voice, and spending less time on my living room couch.  One of those goals was completely impossible and unrealistic, so I focused on aspiring authors. 

To that end, I reached out to COMPAS, which led to a meeting with Juliana Anderson Wilkins and Julie Strand.  In a thirty-minute breakfast meeting, their passion for their work was beyond evident (as was, they discovered, my passion for hot chocolate). These women spend a lot of time thinking about how best to reach out to our communities, to introduce anyone (students, hospital patients, library patrons, inmates) to art, and go anywhere (schools, parks, libraries, community centers) to bring artists to them.  Any art, whether it’s sculpting or poetry or meeting non-profit organizers and then writing a blog about it.  (I admit, my art is weirdly specialized.) 

Picture it:  you’re stuck in a hospital bed for whatever reason and you’ll be there for a few days.  If you are at hospital that is working with a COMPAS Teaching Artist, you could have the option of having an artist come to your bedside and give you a drawing lesson!  A sculpting lesson!  A critique on your short story!  This sounds much, much better than trying to decipher what your hospital food entrée is supposed to be.  (“Is it meatloaf?  The texture is all wrong for meatloaf.  Is it spaghetti and meatballs?  Wait, it’s a tuna sandwich?  That makes no sense!”)

That’s COMPAS.  That’s what they do.  That’s what Julie and Juliana and Betsy and Dawn and Huong and Joan and Emma and Michael and Mica and Aimee and Alexei and Danny and Danielle and Eric and Ghita and many, many others do. 


So why should we care?  Because this time of year is when many people vow to improve their lives in any number of ways:  by losing weight, by joining a club, by reading more, writing more, reaching out more.  “I want to get more involved in my community.”  Great!  Check out COMPAS events near you.  “I want to reach aspiring writers.”  Great!  Make gift to COMPAS.  “I want to improve someone’s life.”  (See above.)  “I want to improve my own life.”  (You get where I’m going with this.)

It’s easy.  Check out their website and follow your bliss, whether you want to donate time, money, learn to draw, hire a sculptor, or get out and show the world the amazing things our community is capable of.  Click and it shall be yours.

So Happy New Year!  Now get out there and show the world that when you said you were going to make a positive change, you meant it.

About MaryJanice:

MaryJanice Davidson is an international best-selling author whose books have been translated into several languages and are available in 15 countries. She writes a bi-weekly column for USA Today, and frequently speaks to book clubs, writer's groups, teaches writing workshops, and attends conferences all over the world. She lives with her husband, family, and dogs in St. Paul, MN, and loves hearing from readers. You can reach her at, find out more about her work at, check out her FB page at, and follow her on Twitter @MaryJaniceD. Interested in booking MaryJanice for your conference or workshop? Contact her at