Pier-ing Through The Lens
Local travel writer and photographer Meg Pier's new book features some local scenery.
With the current state of the economy, few of us are willing or prepared to take a risk and change careers in order to pursue a creative passion. None the less, haven't we all considered what it might be like to abandon that stable yet stifling 9-to-5 job and turn full-time to a project we find truly interesting and compelling?
Meet Meg Pier, Nahant-based travel writer and photographer who did just that, despite a wavering economy. Pier, recently had her book, Visions of New England, published. Some of the photographs include local spots.
"Writing has been a passion of mine since I was a young girl," said Pier, though the path to becoming a professional travel writer was a circuitous one. Pier spent the majority of her career as a "media liaison and spokesperson for various companies in the financial services sector." Pier said that while this career was "exciting," it "could also be extremely stressful."
In 1995, Pier's husband, Tom, gave her a camera for Christmas.
"I was notorious for bringing a disposable camera to every social get-together, madly snapping away and then mailing people copies of the pictures. Tom jokes that he created a monster with his gift of my first Nikon."
Coupled with a penchant for photography is Pier's zest for travel: "I take three to four trips a year -- I tend to get itchy feet after a couple of months. I went to Mexico in January and Santa Fe in March. My husband and I are doing a home exchange this month with a family from Cyprus and I am going to Southern Spain in November."
Another Christmas, Pier's husband gave her a software program that allowed her to pair images with text, which provided the impetus for Pier to create a line of photography books.
Pier has proven to be a renaissance woman of both traditional and contemporary media. She has self-published a series of books, the latest of which entitled Visions of New England, containing photographs from her travels, each accompanied with an appropriate quotation of her choosing.
In addition, she operates a Web site that she updates daily with a new photo paired with a quotation. The Web site also includes a section called "Peer to Pier," a monthly installment of interviews Pier has conducted with people with whom she has crossed paths while traveling.
Also featured is a weekly blog update, a "Guest Room" featuring writing from other contributors, a gift store and a plethora of information regarding Pier's background and current career.
After years of international travel and research, Pier draws inspiration for her writing and photography from common bonds we all share she say.
"I've always gotten a sense of comfort from the fact that as far back
as the turn of the first millennium, mankind was grappling with the same issues we struggle with today -- fear, disappointment, loss," she says.
Her creative work also led her to retire from her corporate career and pursue life as a writer full-time.
"I credit the process of creating that book with giving me the gumption to do it."
Admittedly, taking a leap of faith into the vast unknown world of self-employment can be daunting, to say the least. But Pier is one who recognizes both the practical and personal value of following one's interests.
"I credit photography with helping me better develop several life skills I really needed to cultivate, including patience, perspective and being in the moment."
If you're looking to browse or purchase Pier's work, visit Cornerstone Bookstore in Salem, which in addition to selling her books also currently features her photography.
Books can also be found at the Spirit of '76 Bookstore in Marblehead, and other gift and book shops throughout the North Shore.