My Little Thatched Cottage By The Sea

Brenda Chapman Ireland trip I’m back on U.S. soil, and happy to be back with my family. I was in heaven in this little cottage on the beautiful and rugged coast of County Donegal! As I spent time in my own version of paradise, I thought about the past few years – how rough they have been on me creatively, yet how much freedom I have now. As painful as losing Brave was, I thought about other projects while sequestered away in this dream place.

I felt like a butterfly, flitting from idea to idea, just trying to get the gist of things written down so that I wouldn’t lose the thoughts. It was both wonderful and frustrating at the same time. I love that new ideas were rushing through me, but I wanted to dig in and really absorb myself into just one of them. I thought this would have been the place to do that. Instead, it just opened up my mind to more. I should accept that as a really, really good thing! I have a lovely studio here at home in which I can sink my teeth back into just one project – so I shan’t complain. See? My time in Ireland has even influenced my speech!

As I had time to reflect, I also debated with myself whether I want to continue in the film industry. Part of me wants to be the recluse and just write. But another part of me really misses the creative energy that a team of artists exudes. I am torn. So for the next few months – I write. I’ll let time be the judge of where I land after Brave is released.

This was the perfect writer’s retreat, unless, of course, you need people around you to get your creative blood flowing. I liked the solitude. It rejuvenated me.

  • aw I’m glad you had some time to retreat and reflect. I’m sure whatever you choose to work on next will be amazing x

    • Brenda Chapman

      xo 🙂

  • Sounds like a wonderful retreat! Glad to hear you’re rejuvenated! Where ever life takes you after Brave, I’m sure it will be quite the adventure! Enjoy the journey!

    • Brenda Chapman

      Thank you!

  • Chris Chase

    OMG, it doesn’t get more perfect than that. Continuing in the industry or writing or or or… the wonderful thing is that no decision is permanent. Ideas and opportunities will continue to fill the butterfly jar and if we’re all lucky you’ll just be inspired to do it all… now and then. Sounds like a wonderful trip. I think I need one of those. Welcome home. 🙂

    • Brenda Chapman

      Aw… thanks Chris. It was truly amazing – you definitely should try it sometime. xoxo

  • Wow, what a fantastic place. Could you see the ocean from your cottage? It sounds like the perfect place to forget time exists! Choosing one path over another is always hard, and hopefully they won’t have to be mutually exclusive. 🙂

    • Brenda Chapman

      The ocean was right there. I moved a chair in front of the window wrote and wrote and wrote, while I would pause and watch the waves crash against the rocks. (sigh) I’m missing it already.
      And I’m hoping I can do it all… 🙂

      • Living by the sea has always been one of my dreams; I felt the same sort of heartache after I visited Turkey. You can definitely do it all — just don’t overdo it! Breaks like that are good for your soul and sanity, haha.

        • Brenda Chapman

          Very very true! 🙂

  • I’m so glad you enjoyed (and were able to make it up to) Donegal. Lot’s of tourists think it’s too far and remote, but for those that do, the effort is certainly rewarded.

    I emigrated from there over 4 years ago and miss it every day. 🙁

    Did you do any sight-seeing while you were there or was the view from the cottage enough ? 🙂

    • Brenda Chapman

      The view from the cottage was sublime. I hiked around quite a bit when it wasn’t raining too hard. I didn’t have a car – and I loved the feeling of being limited to my little island of Cruit. Very happy there!

  • Ed Bell

    You know, getting away to a different setting really kicks my idea centers into high gear. Especially after attending to one big project for a longer period. I can just imagine the muses that touched you there.


    • It was amazing. I highly recommend it! Where is your wish place to go?

  • I so appreciate your dilemma, Brenda! I’ve been working freelance for years whilst pursuing my writing and illustrating dreams. Sometimes I miss the camaraderie of a big studio, even as I savor my solitude. I find there’s a constant play between making our own choices, and Life making those choices for us.

    Good luck in your own choices — I look forward to reading here about what you choose next!


  • Heya Brenda.
    I was led to this post by a recent tweet of yours.

    Two things.

    I’m an Australian living in New York.
    Folks are always asking me if I miss Australia.
    For the most part I’m too busy to even think about it, but the one thing that I do miss is the ease in which you can find yourself alone there.
    I lived in Tasmania for 11 years and it was a blissful half hour drive to be someone beautiful and totally alone.
    Of course, I have a nearly 2 year old boy now so notions of solitude are a thing of the past…

    The big studio experience is something I’ve never had, and probably won’t.
    I imagine when you’ve nurtured a project in that system you can’t expect it to come out entirely in tact on the other side.
    The good thing is that there are other avenues if you want to raise a baby (as it were) and raise it the way you want to.

    • brendachapman

      Hey, Elliot! Thanks for commenting. Alone in the quiet is not a NYC thing, so I can imagine how much you miss it at times! Tasmania! Wow!
      It is nice to know there are other avenues out there for raising our babies in our own way. I’m learning… even as old as I am! 🙂

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