Positive Writer

Writing through doubt and fear, and you can, too!

Why All Creative People Absolutely Should Travel to Paris

“A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of Life.”

Thomas Jefferson

I thought I knew who I was creatively before visiting Paris, but when I arrived there the first time, a little over ten years ago, I soon realized I didn’t have a clue.

The City of Light “La Ville-Lumière” is unparalleled for the creatively inclined, and once you’ve visited, you will leave forever changed. It refined my sense of purpose, ignited my true passion for creating, and changed how I interpret art.

Artist, Seine river, Paris. By Bryan Hutchinson

Artist – Seine river, Paris. Photo by Bryan Hutchinson

I’ve visited Paris 3 times and, although I just returned yesterday, I want to, no, I-need-to, visit again, and soon.

If you were to ask me if you should visit Paris, I’d tell you the same thing.

You need to visit Paris, especially if you are creative and want to bring an entirely new and enriching element to your work, such as new insights and ideas, or a more profound understanding of what art is and what it takes to create it.

If you’re looking for artistic inspiration, Paris has it in abundance.

Don’t wait. Start making plans to board a plane or train, and go!

I know, it isn’t always as easy as just setting a date and going, but I hope to convince you it is worth it.

I’m a traveler and I love visiting places that are historic in nature and bring value to my creative life, but of all the cities I have visited – Amsterdam, Munich, Rome, Copenhagen, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and so many others – Paris is the one city that brings out the very best of the creative within me.

What an immense impression Paris made upon me. It is the most extraordinary place in the world!

-Charles Dickens

It’s no wonder that the who’s who of artists visited Paris, and many chose to stay and live there  – Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, and Monet to name only a few, and even writers – Charles Dickens, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ernest Hemingway.

Paris is the most extraordinary place in the world.

I can tell you about it and share pictures with you of all the wonderful landmarks in Paris, such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe and so many others, but those are not the reasons to visit Paris.

Live your passion. Photo by Joan Hutchinson

Live your passion. Photo by Joan Hutchinson

“Whenever you are in Paris at twilight in the early summer, return to the Seine and watch the evening sky close slowly on a last strand of daylight fading quietly, like a sigh.”

-Kate Simon

What is so important about Paris to artists is the energy of the city.

The energy of the city is why so many of the greatest artists have visited time and time again.

Some believe it’s the light in and around the city that drives one to create.

It is as if there is a gentle rush of electrical current flowing throughout the city, its residents, and visitors, invigorating all from within. Even at night everything and everyone seem to be awash with illumination.

You need never worry about writer’s block in Paris, because your creative flow will be moving effortlessly and ceaselessly like the current in the air throughout Paris..

You can’t find such creative stimulation anywhere else in the world, because it simply doesn’t exist anywhere else. Not in London, not in New York, and not in Amsterdam.

“No other city is quite like it. I wake early, often at 5 o’clock, and start writing at once.”

-James Joyce


Walk about, Paris. Photo by Bryan Hutchinson

Walk about, Paris. Photo by Bryan Hutchinson

When I walk the streets of Paris I feel as if the place is otherworldly, that God made this one place where artistic inspiration and creative energy meet to produce the divine.

The vitality of Paris emanates from every fissure in the expansive avenues and streets, envelopes each leaf floating on the wind, and waves us on with every ripple of the Seine. It enlivens our creative spirit and fills us with hope.

The good news is that you can take that spirit with you, but the bad news is, not for very long, because like the fiercest addiction, it will call you back again and again and again. It’s the one addiction that no one would ever tell you to quit – that is, no one who has ever sat quietly on any bench in Paris for only a few minutes.

Paris makes you want to do the seemingly impossible.

Arc De Triomphe. Photo by Bryan Hutchinson

Arc De Triomphe. Photo by Bryan Hutchinson

Anyone who knows me well enough knows I have an extreme fear of heights.

So it’s with absolute astonishment that I felt not a twinge of fear when Joan said she wanted to go to the top of the Arc de Triomphe and asked if I would go with her. I automatically agreed without the slightest bit of apprehension. She gave me a surprised look for only a second and off we went, to the TOP OF THE ARC DE TRIOMPHE!

I was so relaxed at the top of the Arc I even posted a Facebook message that I was at the top.

I took the picture below while standing at the very edge. It was thrilling. It was life-changing. I felt as though we were on top of the world, hundreds of feet in the air, but it unexpectedly was as natural as breathing.

Paris from above. Photo by Bryan Hutchinson

Paris from above. Photo by Bryan Hutchinson

I’ll never completely understand how my fear of heights was overcome for that day, but I am so happy it was. That’s the power of Paris. It takes you in. It changes you.

The Paris effect on creativity.

Creative flow is when your creativity comes naturally, without being beckoned, and you can paint, write or sculpt, whatever your art might be, to your heart’s content.

Walking the streets of Paris we spotted artists in places you wouldn’t imagine, on streets and garden paths, even along the river, where few people walked. They weren’t peddling their craft or seeking an audience, they were just there doing what they do simply for the sake of creating.

An artist has no home in Europe except in Paris.

-Friedrich Nietzsche

Artist in Paris. Photo by Joan Hutchinson

Artist in Paris. Photo by Joan Hutchinson

Off the beaten path, left mostly alone, practically ignored by the locals, the true artists of Paris create their masterpieces. It’s an amazing thing to see an artist totally lost in their work, basking in the joie de vivre of creative flow.

Paris takes my breath away.

I’ll visit Paris again. Maybe one day Joan and I will live there.

I believe Paris will have a grand effect on you too if you visit her, but if Paris isn’t possible for you to visit right now, save up and plan your trip. But don’t make it someday – you and I both know someday never comes. Make real plans to go there. If you’re creative in any way, you owe it to yourself to visit.

Inspiring - Paris. Photo by Bryan Hutchinson

Inspiring – Paris. Photo by Bryan Hutchinson

If you ever suffer from low confidence or struggle with doubt (don’t we all?), Paris will release you from them while you are in her reassuring arms.

Sound too good to be true? Visit. Stay a while.

Visit the side streets where few tourists go. Climb to the top of The Arc de Triomphe. Walk the most famous street in the world, The Champs-Élysées. Walk along the Seine river from Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower. Put your lock on the Pont des Arts.

Our lock. Photo by Joan Hutchinson

Our lock. Photo by Joan Hutchinson

Visit Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa at the Louvre. And above all, find a bench in a quiet garden of Paris and just sit there, because when you do, you’ll soon realize what Paris is all about.

Travel for the sake of your creative expression.

Traveling is so important for the creative within all of us. We all need new experiences in fresh places, so if you can’t go to Paris now or if Paris just isn’t for you, go somewhere unique to you, somewhere you haven’t been before as far away as you can afford to go.

And do it often, before it’s too late.

There are few things as beneficial for one’s creative flow than adventuring to new places and immersing yourself in the splendor of the local scene.

Bon voyage!

Have you visited Paris? Would you like to visit? Share in the comments.

About Bryan Hutchinson

I'm a positive writer and when that doesn't work, I eat chocolate. I help fellow writers overcome doubt and thrive! In my free time, I love visiting castles with my wife, Joan. Join me on Twitter and Facebook.

Did you like this article?

Get future articles delivered directly to your inbox and you’ll also receive an extremely popular eBook included with signing up, all for free. More free stuff to come for subscribers only, so don’t miss out. Enter your email address:

Audacity-banner-G610 Proceeds from sales of the book support the Positive Writer website, writing contests, giveaways, and other events. Thanks for your support.
  • Bonjour Bryan, Paris est une ville pour les amateurs et les artistes.
    Your words took me on a delicious journey there again. I could smell the fresh baquettes, the chocolate, the cafè’s, the vibrant colors of the gardens, the art, architecture. Don’t you just loved hearing the french language?
    We had planned on having our 25th wedding anniversary there this year but Italy called. I too stood on the copper plaque in front of the Notre Dame, promising return to Paris.
    Travel leaves you speechless, then turns you into writer. A positive one at that.

    • I so agree, Patricia. Paris totally left me speechless, but gave me a lot to write about, obviously. Now your description has made me hungry for more!

      • Loretta Martine


        Check out Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris by Jennifer L. Scott! This book encapsulates the best of Parisian living – and how to transform your everyday life into the niceties that truly make life enchanting!

  • Bryan,

    I saw so many lines in this that I loved:

    “The vitality of Paris emanates from every fissure in the expansive avenues and streets, envelopes each leaf floating on the wind, and waves us on with every ripple of the Seine.”

    “…Paris will release you from them while you are in her reassuring arms.”

    “That’s the power of Paris. It takes you in. It changes you.”

    I know it’s a place I would love to visit with Jess. It would gently awaken any creative parts that still may be hiding in her.

    I’d love to see Germany with her. To let her see and experience what we saw. To see where she was actually born.

    Now you’ve done it Bryan, you’ve awakened my desire to travel. I’m hoping I can pursue it.

    Thanks for letting us see what you saw.

    • I hope you do, Anne. If you visit Paris with your daughter, let us know and maybe Joan and I can catch the train and meet you. I’m glad you liked the post and especially those quotes.

  • Caterina

    Thank you Bryan for putting into words what I have felt all along.I lived in Paris as a traveler, nanny, and working artist for eighteen months. The people, the light, the feeling. I was never bored, only inspired and my ideas did flow effortlessly as well as my romantic life. I felt bolder there with insecurites vanishing. I am now living in Geneva which gives me a very similar feeling, and so glad I am now so close to Paris!

    • Fantastic, Caterina. I felt the same way. Since you’re in Geneva, do you get to visit often? How far away is it?

  • kv

    Wow! I am traveling to Paris for the first time in December, on my own, and this post was just perfect. Now I’m even more excited to go (if that was even possible). Thank you!

    • Great KV. You’re going to love it in Paris, and I do believe it will surpass your every expectation. I hope it does, because it sure did mine and I’ve been there a couple times already.

  • Jennifer

    This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever read. To be told that I must book a trip to Paris?!?! Seriously. The energy of creativity for each of us is different. For you it might be Paris, for me I love Edinburgh, I love Istanbul. I love getting out of my comfort zone and exploring… I do not HAVE to go to Paris to do that

    • lol I totally agree, Jennifer, you don’t “have” to visit Paris. It’s simply a figure of speech to describe the excitement I had of visiting Paris and I’d like to share that with readers and give them a feel for the stirring excitement I’ve had there. Nobody has to do anything, of course not. 🙂

      With that said, you’re so right about Edinburgh and Istanbul, such wonderful places, great places to visit. I have to visit them again, but that doesn’t mean I really “have” to. 🙂

      You seem like quite the traveler too. Awesome.

    • sally

      This is the most amazing place ever . I might book a trip to Paris

  • kathunsworth

    Paris is a wonder a beautiful city with a romantic energy I have my memories of travelling with my sister something I may never get to do again. For me it is about travelling to new cities, I loved Paris but if I had a choice to travel at the moment which is close to none I would choose a place I have not been to yet and that would inspire the fires of creativity. yet I am lucky my muse walks with me where ever I go. Bryan enjoyed your beautiful pics and passion for the city of LOVE.

    • Yes, traveling to new cities we’ve never been to before inspires creativity, whether it is Paris or somewhere else. Paris does the trick for me, but it could be another place does it for you.

      I’m with you though, that I am lucky my muse walks with me, hand in hand, wherever I go. 🙂

  • Diana N.

    Beautiful post. I was just thinking the other day that Paris was one place I probably wouldn’t care to go (i don’t really know why). You’ve just blown that thought out of the water! Now I would love to go there and experience that someday.

    • Thank you, Diana. I hope you tell me about your trip to Paris when you return.

  • debtrotter

    Bryan, what a lovely post.
    That being said, I feel the same way about Venice, Italy. I love it so much that I don’t mind if I ever get a chance to travel anywhere else – as long as I can go back to Venice. I also love Ireland, but in a completely different way. It’s people and it’s music will forever live in my heart.
    And now, for Paris. So many of my artist friends love Paris. I’ve been three times, and it just doesn’t do it for me. The first two times I went I was younger, and I allowed myself to be intimidated either by rude people or what I thought was my utter lack of sophistication.The third time I was determined to enjoy myself in Paris … You know, start over and give it a chance. That ended up being the time I was robbed. LOL. Do you think the universe was trying to tell me something? I really don’t know. But I so envy people who adore Paris and love reading posts like yours.

    • Yikes! The city I have probably visited the most is Amsterdam. Sometimes I love visiting Amsterdam, but other times, like the time I was robbed, I hated it. However, the last time I visited Amsterdam it was the best time, and maybe that’s because I went with my wife and we went places and saw things I didn’t before. Not sure.

      I’d love to visit Venice, and now that you mentioned it, it is back on my radar and I need to go there. I’ve heard so many great stories from friends who have visited. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Alex

    This will probably sound incredibly odd to the Americans reading this, but I feel this way about Los Angeles.

    I grew up in Europe (Paris for me is very ‘been there done that’) and I currently live in New Zealand, where beautiful vistas are dime a dozen.

    But Los Angeles is ugly. Perfectly ugly. But I like ugly, because my creativity can’t turn something already beautiful into something beautiful – but I can turn ugly into beautiful.

    So for me there’s something weirdly inspiring about sitting in the heat and the smog, as if I’m inside an oven that badly needs cleaning, watching the crumbling buildings and the slightly plastic-looking denizens.

    I don’t know why it is.

    L.A. has a creative vibe, for sure, but I suppose in many ways it’s the antithesis of Paris… like its dark twisted cousin from another universe.

    • That’s a unique way to look at it, Alex. Quite, well, creative. LA’s not a bad city and parts of it can be beautiful, but for an artist like you it sounds like the perfect place. I like the idea of turning ugliness into beauty.

  • Don’t show this post to my eight-year-old daughter. I love to travel, too. We mostly travel in the U.S., but I want to take her overseas in a few years. I’d like to visit Iceland for its stark beauty. She wants to go to… you guessed it, Paris.

  • La McCoy

    Love this!

  • Violet Arzadon

    It was in Rue Montmarte in Paris while watching an artist sketch that I learned to sketch landscapes, the agricultural school in Montpellier and almond blossoms. And when I went home in the PHilippines, myself.

  • D. L. Sebree

    I was fortunate enough to live in Paris in my early elementary school years. You may have just explained my passion for and support of all things creative. Where I currently live I’m sort of out of step; my love of beauty and truth is not “pragmatic”. I think a return visit to Paris is overdue, if only to remind me I’m not so odd. Thanks Bryan!

  • Véronique St-Martin

    I see that you learned some French words : good ! I’d like to visit this place too, but not only Paris but also, the entire France ! Because it’s the place of origin of my ancestors and because this country has a so rich history ! But you certainly gave me more the desire to go there !

  • Fleur

    I am returning to Paris in April. I have had this hankering to return ever since I first visited the city in 1989. People have often asked me what the attraction was/is and I have found it hard to explain to them that the city enchanted me and made me feel alive! Reminds me of the song “I’ve got you under my skin.” C’est la vie!

  • Bryan, I just loved this article. I feel the same way! I was born in Paris but raised in other parts of France …each unique and delightful!

    My eldest lives there now, so I have another excuse to return more often. You’re stirring that travel bug I have!

    Another beautiful city is the southern city of Aix-en-Provence…sunshine, old fountains, the scent of lavender, colorful tablecloths… I’ve just got to go back! 😉

  • Edith

    It’s a nice article .Bryan
    But me I have a huge problem …
    I was born in Paris, I live in Paris and each time I try to write …I have no inspiration at all!
    I really don’t know what to do to be able to write ..maybe living Paris ?

  • Edith

    Sorry my English is bad
    I wanted to write
    Maybe leaving Paris …?

    • Edith, if you’re a writer you can write anywhere, but traveling and visiting other places can open you up to new sights, sounds and cultures and maybe give you something new to write about. But whatever you do, wherever you are, write. Don’t give yourself any reasons not to write.

  • Loved this article, Bryan! I’ve never been to Paris but have always wanted to go ever since I was a kid and saw the animated movie “Gay Purr-ee” (cats voiced by Judy Garland, Robert Goulet and Red Buttons). Even stylistically animated, the city just looked magical. It’s on the top of my travel list and now I have yet another reason to go–to feed my creativity. Fantastic reason. Thank you for this wonderful post and for a supportive push in the right direction.

  • Pingback: 5 Ways to Start Living an Awesome Life Worth Writing About | Positive Writer()