The spice of life. Have you ever considered how or where to find it? It’s not as hard as you think. A dash of one new spice in a tried and true recipe and you have a whole new dish. Sometimes it happens while trying to accomplish something else. Lots of inventions happen that way – think Velcro or Post it Notes. The very same thing can happen in our lives. Trying one thing and finding something instead or in addition to it.

Vegan chef and cookbook author Angela Liddon found a new interest quite unintentionally while putting her first cookbook together. Not food, as you might think, but photography.  She mentioned that while putting together her first cook book, she had to take pictures of the food. As she did she learned a lot about photography, lighting and how to put food together in a way that would show it to best effect. She admitted that developing these new skills (bad pun apology) has become as enjoyable as coming up with new recipes.

It’s the side dishes that make the meal more interesting

These side dish interests are every bit as important as the main course. They are opportunities to stretch  sides of ourselves  we haven’t fully considered. They open us up to new perspectives, new challenges. Mastering them, because they don’t fall in our normal realm of skills, is very satisfying.

It doesn’t have to be very far out of our current pursuits, to be a worthwhile endeavor. A business acquaintance, photographer Jay Terry, is an award winning portrait photographer. Recently he mentioned that he is trying his hand at some new styles. Not because he feels they will be big money makers, but because they will stretch his perspective, and make him look at technique differently.

As for me, well I have learned a lot through my journey of writing. By its very nature, writing is a solitary and “simple” endeavor.  Pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard. Yet, truly good writing doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Besides deciding and writing your topic, is the team of people who help to bring your creation to the world. Editor, illustrator, and more to come! Each imparts and guides through their areas of expertise. I continue to find and learn information about books and book publishing that as a book lover hadn’t occurred to me. I am beginning to see books in a new way and along the way, myself.

If you are looking for the indefinable spice, I suggest you sidestep into a related area of what you already have going on. See where that leads you. You never know what you might discover.