The Beauty of Blinders: Taking Sight of Your Own Creativity #CreativeEncouragement #Creativity #Individuality

BLINDERS:

  1. something that obscures vision: something that prevents clear vision or understanding
  2. eye covers for horse: a pair of flaps attached to a horse’s bridle, one beside each eye, to keep the horse looking straight ahead.Microsoft® Encarta® Reference Library 2003. © 1993-2002 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

In terms of art and creativity, the first definition of the word for Blinders is very negative. Art, after all, is about giving vision and making the obscure more understandable.

But as an artist and as creative people, there are times where Blinders are a necessary tool that we should employ within our journeys.

Real art is not about competition it is about the newness of authenticity. Authentic creativity speaks not only for the artist, but to the artist as well as the audience, and comes from a place within.

Blinders that cover our eyes from distractions, things that keep us from our vision, and looking ahead, staying on the path, are very beautiful and worthwhile.

When you start creating, developing your motion, the thing that you do not want to do is to think, “How can I be different from the person next to me?” When you start your creative process with that mindset being your base or foundation, (and many of us have) you keep yourself from tapping into your true creativity.

What you are essentially doing is looking ‘outwardly’ at what the person next to you is doing, and you are taking what they have created, and have made that your foundation or base. You are putting icing on an already iced cake.

Your individuality begins from within it doesn’t take root from without…”

Digression. Spring-boarding off of the work of others, using their vision as a tool or muse, is one thing. It’s a means of learning. This is not what I am talking about here. I am talking about creative competition and anxiety which is the knife that cuts the throat of many of fantastically creative people.

People who run their creative race with the eyes on the competition never reach their fullest potential. They begin the race with a goal in mind and never reach the finish line because their eyes stayed on the ‘horse’ in the other lane. Ultimately, they ended up crashing and burning, trying to be like the one next to them but never becoming the best expression of themselves.

Real art is not about competition it is about the newness of authenticity. Authentic creativity speaks not only for the artist, but to the artist as well as the audience, and comes from a place within.

When you look ‘inwardly,’ which is a revelation (even if someone else’s work has led you to do so) and you get a new creative revelation that is authentic that speaks from the core of who you are, then at that point you can really  begin to glean from the creative wisdom of others.

From there you can take aspects and concepts of what others have created and from there say, “How can I use this expression and make it my own?” while still holding on to your own individuality.

You create your own lane and forge a new path of inspiration.

Your individuality begins from within, it doesn’t take root from without…if that makes sense. It requires taking an introspective glance into the dark places deep within ourselves and learning our own true voice and song.

Many do not dare dive that deep for fear of what they will find.

We as creatives shouldn’t look around and think “How can I be different?” Instead ask yourself “How can I continue to be me, learn who I am as an artist,  and continue to climb each rung of this ladder of creative enlightenment. How can I rise higher by getting a hand up by other artists and creatives by gleaning the wisdom that they have already produced?”

I hope my words were understood and have given a bit of encouragement to help you soar even higher.

Thanks for reading! And keep it Creative!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Gearing Up to Prepare for Your Creative Success: Seeds We Sow #MondayMotivation #SiezetheDream #Creative

“The little seeds sown today become the fruit trees of our tomorrows.” ~Candice Coates

The Word of God says that whatever we sow that we shall also reap (Galatians 6:7). When it comes to our creativity, like our faith or life in general, we still reap what we sow.

If you sow seeds of laziness or even fear of failure and choose not to make the time to create today, tomorrow you will have nothing but the fruit of regret.

But if you take the time, get your hands dirty and press past your barriers and fears, sowing seeds of action, even when it seems fruitless, soon and very soon you will eat of the fruits of success.

I want to help you sow your creative seeds! I want to help you find your success.

Success isn’t solely found in book deals or high priced paintings, but in the knowledge that you accomplished a challenging goal. In your efforts, you grew. That is always worthy fruit.

Let’s grow together!

MISSION FOR THE NEXT FEW WEEKS:

Over the next 12 Mondays, I would like you to journey with me in sowing seeds to capture your divine and creative vision for tomorrow.

We will:

  • ‘Turn the soil’ of our creative ground and prep it to be fruitful
  • Relay proper foundations to build creatively upon
  • Learn how to design our personal roadmaps to ‘creative success’
  • Find out what it means to Dream, Imagine, Believe, Do, and, CONQUER!

WILL YOU JOIN ME?:

Will you make a commitment to join me in this journey? If so, please

  • Follow ICFTS if you aren’t already
  • Invite others to join by spreading the word and sharing this post on social media
  • Make a commitment at the end of this journey to Sign my GUESTBOOK sharing how ICFTS has blessed you and helped you grow creatively

I look forward to sharing this creative table with you.

COMMUNITY QUESTIONS:

  • What steps have you taken to walk into your creative dreams thus far?
  • What were/are some things that were/are holding you back?
  • What advice would you share with others who have struggled to take hold of or regain their footing in conquering their dreams and goals?

Please share your wisdom and advice in the comments below.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Pausing to Remember: Memorial Day

 

Happy Memorial Day! In honor of this day of remembrance, ICFTS is forgoing this week’s postings for Motivation Monday.

Tune in next week for new motivations to help you #SiezetheDream.

In the meantime, we pause to remember those who gave up their lives for the liberties of others. We celebrate them, not out of politics, but out of the heart cry of person to person, life for life.

Those who’ve fallen gave up the luxury of having the little things we take for granted.

However you celebrate this day, if you celebrate this day, do so with sincerity and thanksgiving. Life is precious.

Happy Memorial Day!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

3 Ways to Make Creative Time in a Busy Day: The Almighty Quarter #MotivationMonday

Quarters are AMAZING! You can do so many activities with quarters. You can do laundry, you can play a game at an arcade with enough quarters. You can purchase a cheap, hot cup of liquid motivation on your way to work with quarters.

Once upon a time, you could make a phone call in a phone booth with a quarter. Packs of chewing gum used to be a quarter!

I mean I could go on and on about how great quarters are!

May favorite quarters, however, are those within a day, made up of minutes and seconds. In a single day, you have 24 hours, 48 half hours and 96 QUARTERS! 96! Now, you are probably thinking, “What is the big deal?”

Time does not play fair. It plays mind tricks. More often than not, it will rob you, trick you and leave you frustrated…if you let it.

Here it is, as creative beings, who have full-time commitments away from our crafts finding the time to cultivate our craft seems like an impossible feat. It never fails that the excuse of “I don’t have enough time.” is used.

I am guilty of that.

Time is a formidable foe indeed. Time does not play fair. It plays mind tricks. More often than not, it will rob you, trick you and leave you frustrated…if you let it.

Here are a few ways to make time for your craft during a busy work week when it seems that extra time is simply and understandably out of reach:

1. Don’t allow time to oppress you: If you, like me, have ever bought into the lie that you don’t have enough time to write, to draw, to compose, to do whatever it is that you feel a creative hunger for just remember you have 96 quarters at your disposal.

Yes, some of them are already accounted for, but when you consider taking 4 of those 96 quarters a day and dedicating them to your craft, you would be amazed at what you can achieve.

Even if you can only spare two or even one at the most, still your creative muscles will be strengthened.

You know what it is like to be hangry. The same rules apply when we are starved of creative release.

2. Use breaks between committed tasks as creative intermissions: A great way to be fresh during the work day as you go from task to task (besides taking a nap which is also a good thing) is to do some mental cleansing.

Doodling or jotting down ideas in a journal or sketchbook for a few minutes can help defrag your thoughts and get you ready for the next phase of your day.

Think of it as palate cleansing between courses.

3. Break your quarters into dimes or even nickels: Maybe you are really pressed for time, but if you allow yourself five or ten minutes to do a quick sketch or jot down your idea, you will be branding the overall concept to your memory in a way that it will be easier to revisit later.

Five minutes here, ten minutes there and the synopsis for a short story or full-length novel, or the preliminary sketch for your next drawing or painting is done.

You may be thinking that a quarter just isn’t enough, but something is always better than nothing.

Consider how a kid under the age of ten goes bananas for a dollar. College students living off of Roman Noodles feel like they’ve hit the jackpot if they find a single quarter laying around. We need to have the same attitude as they do.

Take the quarters you have, count them up, and dedicate a few of them to your craft. Even if it is just one quarter, set it aside to do what your soul is pushing you to do, and don’t spend that quarter on anything else. You will be amazed and enriched by the beauty you can achieve.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

*This is a revision of an article written January 12, 2014

Coming Soon!!!: New Features ahead on ICFTS #Change #Writer #Musing

Hello, fellow Creatives!

April is just a week away from blurring into May and with that in mind, I want to give you a few updates on what is going on here at I came for the soup….

For over a year now I have been going back and forward with shifts and changes here on this platform trying to figure out what I needed to do in order to breathe the freshness back into this creative space.

I tried on different blog themes, I renovated my menu, I removed certain weekly posts…

It wasn’t until the start of April that I finally began to feel the heartbeat of this creative space beating more strongly, and that was when I discovered and embraced what I was missing here.

What was going on, you ask?

Well, I was trying to hold on to something old while attempting to blindly take hold of something new. The thing is you can only get the clarity to grasp the new thing when you leave the old thing in the dark where it belongs.

Needless to say, I’ve let go and I have taken hold. The winds of Spring and the creative life is bubbling again!

WHAT’S NEW:

First: There has been a shift in the brand here. What used to be a platform for me to journal my growth and nourish my own creative soul has now shifted into a platform where you the reader are central and me the creator and author is now the support.

I came for the soup… was once about nourishing the faith art and fiction in MY soul, but now it is all about nourishing the faith, arts, and vision in yours.

The first three years of this creative space was about building up my creative muscles and vision and now I have the strength to help build yours.

. . . you can only get the clarity to grasp the new thing when you leave the old thing in the dark where it belongs. 

I want you to help you take hold of your creative voice like never before!

More of what that will look like will be coming soon.

Second: Some things that were discarded while I struggled through my cocoon of growth and change, will be coming back again.

One of those is Monday’s Muse Writing Prompt. Actually, it will be making it’s second debut in just an hour from now!

Nourishing the Arts in you begins with helping you find and stretch your voice. For writers, this is done through writing prompts and I have to say that I not only enjoyed creating this weekly prompt, but I also enjoyed doing it myself.

Third: The art of platform revision continues. Now that I have a clear and solid view of where this creative space and brand is headed, I need to begin implementing the necessary changes.

Bear with me.

My goal is to have this ‘machine’ running at top performance before the end of Spring. I am working on new content to help you take hold of your vision and find your authentic creative voice, while I revise older material that I feel is very relevant even for this current moment.

There are even non-fiction books under works, all geared toward drawing the light out of you and helping you to conquer!

I am super excited about this new season and the changes that are taking place and I hope you are too.

Thank you for sticking around while the dust was still flying. Great stuff is ahead and I can’t wait to share it with you.

~Candice

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER! 

Plan Big!: A Word of Creative Encouragement #MotivationMonday

When God is your partner, make your plans big!” ~ D.L Moody

Plan BIG!

You’d think that that exhortation would make every person who heard it celebrate with a motivated fire for action when in reality it makes a lot of people shrink back in fear and hide under the heavy blankets of safety and mediocrity.

Dreaming is not so much of an issue for most of us. But dreaming big . . . well, that has the power to not only knock the wind out of many of our sails but sink our boats completely.

Like me, I suppose you are wondering why that is. If we are honest with ourselves we would have to admit that insecurity and the scrutiny of others is what holds us back. The old ‘what will people think?’ phrase acts as the perfect glitch in our plans of action.

The very thought of failing in front of others, especially those who’ve minimalized our former dreams with the constant song of ‘you can’t,’ strikes us immobile. Them witnessing our former failed attempts doesn’t help either.

But is any of that really a reason to shrink our globally-sized visions down to something that only fills a shoebox? Are our past ‘failures’ really messages that we are not able to achieve the impossible?

I dare say NO!

If nothing else our past ‘failures’ are signs that we are indeed able to succeed? Why? Because even when we aimed for the moon and didn’t even leave the atmosphere, we still have the gumption to load up for another shot.

We are indeed meant to plan big, and along with that, we must rest in faith that every seeming malfunction has a glorious function for our good. We learn from every step we take. We are strengthened by every closed door. We can actually become better with ever affront against our determination.

Isaiah 54:2-4 says, “Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the right and to the left, And your descendants will inherit the nations, And make the desolate cities inhabited. “Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore.”

Dreaming BIG is a gift, a costly gift. It means we will have seasons and moments when we look foolish. It will require us to cast out our nets just one more time in faith even though we’ve been fishing all night and caught nothing. (Luke 5:3-7) But when Yeshua Jesus is directing our casting even when the progress looks minimal the process is optimal and so is the final outcome if we stick with it.

What we must realize is that the God of all Creation has big dreams and plans for each of us. When we trust Him as our Father we are then positioned by faith to prosper. (Jeremiah 29:11)  His thoughts for us are all GOOD and PRECIOUS  and they outnumber the stars and the sand (Psalm 139:17-18).

But part of seeing these dreams come to pass rest in our willingness to dream big, plan even bigger and allow the Giver of Dreams Himself to guide us on the journey. (John 15:5) “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

There is nothing that is too big for Yeshua Jesus to do and when He is our partner there is NOTHING we cannot do! (Philippians 4:13)  But it requires us to believe in and on Him, and take great leaps of faith.

But then, that’s all it takes.

So dream, plan and do it BIG! He’s got your back.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

*Revised from June 2016

Empty Cups: MicroFiction #AmWriting #Words #Romance

I wouldn’t say she was beautiful, more unique than anything, but she definitely had the kind of face that was unforgettable. It wasn’t in a bad way either.

The way the planes and curves of her cheeks, lips, and bones played with shadow and light did something to a man’s mind. It did something to mine.

Even now I see her image. I can even hear her laughter. The tone of it has left a scar as deep as my marrow and just as familiar as the freckles on my calloused hands.

I wish I could say things ended well. More than anything they simply ended. My call, my shot, my rules and my way . . . I was doing her the favor by being by her side, wasn’t I? I was the pretty one they said. I was the one that was so full of life.

I was full of something and that goes without saying.

I was full of her. The truth is I am nothing more than an empty cup, sat on a ledge waiting for someone else to fill me.

Sad truth is I only want her.

THE END

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

3 Reasons to Keep Creating: It’s Worth the Mess. Keep At it! #MotivationMonday #Creating #Encouragement

 

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly . . . until you can learn to do it well.” ~Zig Ziglar

I have always been a believer that anything worth having is definitely worth fighting for. Having healthy relationships? Worth fighting for. Having security? Worth fighting for? Having victory in maintaining faith? Worth fighting for.

I could go on and I am sure that you could add several things to the ‘worth fighting for’ list. But one thing I have often lost the fight in (because I didn’t show up) was in learning new avenues of creating.

Why? Because more times than not I was afraid of failure. I wonder if you can relate.

The thing about being a creative person–the thing about being human–is that the beginnings of all of our successes begin in a mess. We don’t begin walking with elegant or confident gaits. We fall and we scuff our hands and knees.

The same is true for each and ever creative venture that we embark on.

Our first drafts will likely be, well, garbage in comparison to the final drafts. Our first paintings, even done as adults will show the skills of an enthusiastic three-year-old.

All of this is okay. All of this is part of the process.

We have to learn in all things that before we are able to play “Moonlight Sonata” with our eyes closed that we must first begin playing “Chopsticks” with sharp concentration.

We have to keep giving and keep practicing until our muscles are trained and our creativity flows with the same ease as breathing.

Consider your craft to be like rerouting natural water into a beautiful city situated in a dry place. The water is there. The city is there. You just have to be willing to do what it takes to bring them together.

HERE ARE 3 THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:

  1. Being a ‘beginner’ is a necessary step in becoming a master or even mediocre. Both however take time.
  2. What you give you will get. If you keep at your practice you will either learn how to do it well or learn that there is no shame in learning that you aren’t meant to do everything, but that there are never any regrets in giving some things a try.
  3. Every beautiful home begins as a messy, muddy, hole in the ground. Foundations are often the least favorite part of the process but the most important. The mansion is definitely worth the mud!

So keep working on your novels. Keep slinging that paint, and scratching those ivories until they bleed into submission and your touch turns into a tickle.

What you are doing is worth it. It is worth the moments of frustration. It is worth relentlessly pounding the ‘delete’ button until the letters on the key are all but worn away.

It is all worth it because the day will come when you finally learn how to do what you are doing well. And it will be beautiful!

~Dream. Imagine. Beleive. Do. CONQUER! 

How Writing is much like Farming: Words to Creatives #Amwriting #writinglife #writingtip #writing

Writing Farming.png

“To have a great idea, have a lot of them.” ~Thomas A. Edison

I was going through some quotes by Mr. Thomas A. Edison when I came across the one and thought of you, my fellow creatives. I thought about how down in our spirits we as aspiring authors and artist can get over our novels and creations when they seem to not be going the way we’d hoped and imagined, and for that reason, I  wanted to encourage you.

Let’s face it, as beautiful and exhilarating it is to write a book from start to finish–or to create any form of art–it is still a lot of hard work.

We as the creators often see how grand it is in its fledgling form because we see more than our words initially show in the first round of writing.

To see this way is great but we have to keep the truth in mind that our readers can’t see everything we see within our first expressions of our ideas.

They need a bit more showing and telling to gain the excitement we have about the piece and that doesn’t usually come with our first drafts or even with the first novel we set out to write.

Some people say not to be married to your first draft. Well, I would say not to make a deep commitment until draft 2 and not to get married until maybe draft 4 or 5.

Each draft is its own idea. Some are better than others. Some will take our novels and spin them into completely different concepts than we first began with.

But what began as a clutter of thoughts and ideas ends with something spectacular if we stick to it.

The key is to never give up, to remember that practice does indeed make perfect or it gets us pretty close to perfect. So keep sticking to your craft and your drafts and know that eventually, once polished enough, your gift will make room for you (Proverbs 18:16).

It is a joy to write, it is a privilege to be creative, but it is also hard work. We have to commit to the truth and adage that “for every ounce of gold we are going to have to move a ton of dirt.”

Like farming, you are going to sow a lot of seeds, some are going to produce great harvests while others are going to fall by the wayside. Still, farming is a good idea if you want to eat, right?

It’s the same way pressing through the dark patches of your craft is a good idea. Eventually, the light will come and you will enjoy the fruits of your labor.

What your stories are meant to be, what your art is meant to be, they will become…in time…if you don’t give up.

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” ~Thomas A. Edison

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!
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Blog Novel & Future Plans: What’s Going on in March #AmWriting #Writinglife #Novel

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There’s a way to do it better-find it.” Thomas A. Edison

For over a year now I’ve been coming up with plans to reinvent this creative platform in a way that makes my soul sing like it did from the very first moment that I gave birth to it.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post regarding this topic, my creative needs have changed and so have the ebbs and flows of my musings. What was once just a space to journal my creative growth, has morphed into something different and it continues to change even as my vision for my writing future becomes clearer.

With the recent launching of my author site: www.candicecoates.wordpress.com, and the promotion of my Battle of the Books, my time is divided as is my creative focus, all for good reasons.

This blog was created to harness reawakened creativity and it has certainly met its goal and continues to.

That being said, I am trying a new thing here…again…with how I manage this blog space.

FIRST: SCHEDULE

I have visited this topic several times and have come back to the same place.

  • 3 posts a week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday

…That seemed easy enough.

The more difficult part of this was/is determining what to continue here on this platform.

SECOND: BLOGGING TOPICS

  • Creative Writing
  • Blog Novel (MORE ON THIS BELOW)
  • Musings and Creative Inspirations
  • Faith
  • Art

If you have been following this blog for a while, you are probably wondering what happened to Wisdom From the Writer’s Journal, where I give writing tips, encouragements, and host interviews or guest posts? If not, then you should be, but I digress.

What I have decided to do, after mulling it over for the last three months, is move WFTWJ to my Author Site. Because this is where I will be highlighting more of my indie Publishing journey and focusing solely on the craft of creative writing, it only makes sense for me to move WFTWJ to that platform.

So if you were digging Wisdom From the Writer’s Journal, FOLLOW MY AUTHOR SITE!

I will still continue to share writing inspirations and encouragements in more of a conversational way, hence the bullet for musings and creative inspirations.

THIRD: THE INFAMOUS BLOG NOVEL,  ASCENSION GRAVEYARD

Our greates weakness lies in giving up. The most certian way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” ~Thomas A. Edison

For going on four years this June, I have been writing and rewriting Ascension Graveyard. I have made it to a good, 90k words, only to turn around and rework the peace. I have shared chapters here three times going all the way up to over 30 chapters at a time.

Ascension Graveyard..jpg 2

I have worked hard…and I have found that though my labors have not been in vain, they haven’t yielded the desired fruit.

That being said, a fourth rewrite is in order. By this, I don’t mean just another round of editing and weeding currently existing chapters, but completely rewriting the book at least 85% from scratch.

I will be honest, I have had this idea for over a year and the thought of actually giving it a shot makes me a bit skittish, but I have to trust my creative flow and give it a go.

When will new and hopefully improved chapters of the paranormal science fiction suspense thriller be available? I don’t quite know yet.

I hesitate to make a time commitment as I have done so several times already only to have to push it back.

SO JUST A RECAP:

  1. Blogging Monday, Wednesday, Friday
  2. Creative Writing, Art, Faith, and Encouragements for topics
  3. Rewriting Ascension Graveyard to share soon!
  4. BONUS: Follow my author site and partake in the Battle of the Books!

Thanks for sticking with me this long and continuing on this road with me. Creative is indeed a winding road of its own and the scenery it lends often changes!

See you Wednesday.

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~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!