Learning the Beauty in Less being More: Musing Moment

I am truly learning and embracing the joy of ‘less is more.’ As I intentionally take the time to build the life that I imagine for myself, I am living the truth that I can create without hustle. I can be a success without embracing the lie that I need to be stressed to do it. I don’t have to do ‘it’ the way everyone has shouted that ‘it’ needs to be done.

The wisdom is to perform for an audience of ONE (Yeshua Jesus) and to learn how to be better than the person you were the day before.

I have no need to keep up with the Jones…I don’t even know who the Jones are, which makes it all the better. My life is unique and designed by Christ. It is my honor and privilege to discover that path and walk it in faith in His hands.

My hands and knees may get messy along the way since the path is cleared by each step I take. There is grace in this way, hope, peace, and the fullness of joy.

Our lives are a blessing and a gift to be treasured. What we each have to give individually strengthens the whole.

Less striving to be like everyone else allows more of me to shine through.

Less is more!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

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How to Achieve Your Dream Part 2: Keep it Simple #MotivationMonday #Creative #SeizetheDream

Everything in life should be as simple as possible, but not simpler.” ~Albert Einstein

When it comes to doing anything, especially taking a dream and birthing it into the tangible, keeping things simple is a very crucial admonition to keep in mind.

For most of us, our knee-jerk reaction to anything new is to overthink it. We begin to compare our ‘pearl’ with oyster farms of others with similar dreams already up and running. We begin to add extra bells and whistles to our end products and we haven’t even actually ‘made’ them yet.

We take precious ideas, born in a moment of genius, and think it from the mustard seed it began as, and transform it into craggy, dark mountains that we feel ill-equipped to climb.

Yes, most dreams, especially those that will involve creative income, do come with seeming miles of information that needs to be learned. All of it is important, but none of it is necessary at the very beginning of the dream.

What is important is to take the first step.

With whatever we aim to do, whatever we have taken the step to believe to do, we must remember to keep it simple. It is so easy to overcomplicate things and make what should have been an enjoyable task or journey something loathsome.

But at the same time, as we are keeping things simple by not overcomplicating them, we need to remember NOT to make them simpler.

To me, this means to not dumb down our dreams to the point that they have transformed into cheap counterfeits of our original visions. Don’t cut necessary corners of the process in order to catch up with the so-called competition.

Simple means, again, to be uncomplicated. Choose to Believe without all the complication.

You don’t have to have all the answers yet. Let your seed be a seed, then a sapling, and then tend it until it grows into a tree. Step by step. Worry about ‘racking the leaves’ the moment your tree is big enough to produce some shade.

Keep it simple. Allow your dream to grow in stages. Each step counts. Things only get complicated when you try to leap over more than one step at a time.

Simply write your first draft, create your preliminary sketch, sing your song until the notes come naturally, build your business by creating a starter plan, live your life…simply.

Our dreams are developed by means of a process. There are steps to climb but we do best taking one step at a time. Simple.

* Read How to Achieve your Dream Part 1: Believe you Can

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

5 Ways to Maintain Creative Joy: Wisdom for Creatives #Creative #Writing #Art

 

Being a creative person is a gift, one that is inherent to us all. Whether you are a writer or an artist, an educator or a parent imagining a new way to get your kids to eat their broccoli, you are operating in your creative nature.

For those us who want to take our creative passion to the next level and turn our hobbies into lucrative business ventures, we run the risk of facing burn out.

This burnout isn’t just from creating nonstop on something awesome. This burnout comes from being unprepared for the reality in the shift that we are making.

When our passion becomes a businesses there is another level of accountability that we have to step into, a level that is not as ‘fun’ as creating itself but just as necessary if we are to be successful.

With that in mind, I want to encourage you on ways to keep the glow of joy in your creating even as you stretch beyond your comfort zone and begin to make your passion available to your audience.

5 Ways to Enjoy Creating

  1. Make a plan: Realize that having an idea is just the beginning. You have to take the necessary steps that will take your plan and make it a reality and this requires time, dedication, and hard work. As Thomas Edison put it, “There is no substitute for hard work.” But the fruits are certainly worth the labor.
  2. Take your plan and break it up into daily, weekly, or monthly achievable goals: How do you eat an elephant? Whether with a knife and fork or simply your bare hands, it’s going to take one bite at a time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, folks, and neither will your next novel or great sculpture reach completion the very day you begin. Take things a step at a time. The Book of Genesis outlines how the world was created, one day at a time, one plan at a time, and with the completion of each day, God said IT IS GOOD!
  3. Don’t overdo it: Aim for a number of tasks you can do daily and have maybe one or two smaller tasks you can do in addition should you accomplish your big three in a shorter time, but no more. Time with family and friends is just as important and actually more so than work.
  4. Set work boundaries: Give yourself a dedicated time limit to work and then honor those boundaries. Boundaries create discipline. When discipline is developed our productivity is more effective. We can focus more on quality than quantity which saves us time in the end. Boundaries also create balance and enable us to enjoy our work and appreciate the freedom in our lives. I heard Pastor Ron Carpenter say, “The difference between a swamp and a river is boundaries. “ Because a river has boundaries it has a greater sense of order and bears fruit, whereas a swamp…well it’s a swamp. Both have water and trees but which do you most prefer to visit?
  5. Celebrate each victory: Even if you don’t reach your daily or weekly goal in totality, give thanks for what you were able to accomplish and give yourself a reward for a job well done. Whether it is in a specialty cup of tea or coffee, or just fifteen extra minutes of leisure time, be sure to celebrate. Celebration makes the worth just as worthwhile as the goal itself. Life is not just about the destination but each mile that makes up the journey. Again, if the God of Creation can see His daily tasks as good on the way to the greater destination, so can and so should we!
  6. BONUS: Remember that your value is not rooted in the work you do, that you are not measured by your victories and failures. Rather remember that because you have value you are able to do the work you do and do it well even through the ebbs and flows of victories and the unavoidable fails.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Writing Guidelines…What you do with what you learn

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One of the wisest things a writer can do to better their craft and navigate the path to their desired literary success is to realize that they, in fact, don’t know everything but have room to learn just about anything.

One of the best things we can do to better gain wisdom is to learn from those who have gained the success that mirrors or resembles that which we are aiming for.

A few years back my eldest sister created a creative writing workshop book while she was on sabbatical from teaching at the University level. I had the privilege of being her guinea pig for the project, using the workbook from start to finish.

Out of the many writing exercises that she cleverly produced, the one that I enjoyed and affected me the most had to do with gleaning wisdom from the authors that I most read and/or admired.

I was tasked with:

  • Making a list of 4 of my favorite authors
  • Find a quote of theirs that spoke about their writing process (and from there)
  • Come up with 4 guidelines that I could follow to help me in my creative process

The 4 authors that I chose (in no particular order of popularity) were: Garth Nix, Frank Peretti, Tamora Peirce, and of course, Octavia E. Butler. Below are their quotes and following are the guidelines that I created from what each author had to say.

1. Octavia E. Butler:

    Genre: Sci/Fi

(This quote is in regard to a bad sci-fi movie she had seen when she was twelve.)

“Geez, I can write a better story than that.” So I got busy writing what I thought of as Science Fiction.””

*What a learned from her statement is that sometimes noticing a lack in the craft of others can lead you to find the strength within your own.

2. Garth Nix:

Genre: Young Adult Sci/Fi

I am the audience and I try and write a book that I would like now as a mature adult and that I would have enjoyed at thirteen or fourteen and upwards.”

*What I learned from Garth Nix is in order to write a convincing piece, I have to write it selfishly, as unto myself. But I have to write in a way that others can latch on to it as well.

3.Frank Peretti: (I have two quotes for him actually, but only one birthed a guideline.)

Genre: Horror/Christian/ Supernatural Fiction/ Young Adult

The best way to convey a spiritual truth is by telling a story because stories work.”

And

Don’t try to find truth by looking within yourself; you’re the one who’s confused.”

(The last quote just needed to be shared 😉 )

*What I learned from Frank Perretti (who holds the trophy for being the first author to get me to read a book all the way through for leisure. The book was the Oath. LOVED IT! It starts off with a knife, and blood and a woman running through the woods…curious aren’t you;) ) is that the truth is people like or are more comfortable by the imaginary. They become characters and make the story personal. They live the prose out in their minds as if they were their own memories, and can often glean strength to face their reality.

4. Tamora Peirce.

Genre: Fantasy/ Young Adult

(About getting ideas for her books…)

Some, I stumble across watching in nature programs…watching my mother and sister produce blankets from balls of yarn and crochet hooks. I thought of it as a kind of magic and wondered what all could be done with thread and magic.”

*What I learned is that everyday life is more than enough inspiration. The Lord God Yeshua Jesus gave us all we need to make masterpieces of our own.

Bonus: Victoria Osteen

Let peace be your umpire.”

So above are the things that I have learned. Below are my guidelines based off of the quotes I’ve gleaned from. You will notice that they are not exact to the quotes or what I have learned from the quotes. They are more the children born out of the marriage of the two:

MY WRITING GUIDELINES:

  • There is always room for your work if it is well thought out and concise.
  • Write what pleases you, but what others can connect to as well.
  • Stories are necessary for telling truths. Tell the truth.
  • You have all you need for you masterpiece so make it happen.
  • With everything I do, do it with peace as my ultimate guage and guide.

For me, these guidelines are freeing and very encouraging, like Chopsticks.

NOW YOU GIVE THIS A TRY:

  1. Take some time, look up some quotes from your favorite authors.
  2. Jot down what you glean from it  upon your first read (or after ruminating over it.)
  3. Come up with some guidelines of your own based off of the quotes you have read and what you have learned.
  4. Find an inspirational quote from a non-writer that inspires you.
  5. Put them into practice and then let me know how they worked for you.

Want to see my guidelines in action? Click and follow my Author Page at www.candicecoates.wordpress.com

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~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Dressed for the Appointment: Hope for the Promises to Come

Urgent Message of Hope from December 26, 2012, ON TIME FOR December 2016: 

Four years ago I was led to write a short message reminding many of my friends on Facebook to keep holding on to the Word of Faith and promise that Yeshua Jesus had given unto them. Now, four years and two days later, I am urged to do it again.

The Lord laid this question upon my heart that only you can answer for yourself, really, and here it is. “Are you dressed and are you ready for the open door?”

It is easy to be given a dream and a prophetic vision for your future/destiny/purpose, but it is a whole other thing to not only hold on to it but to be prepared for it at all times. With many of the trails that we face, especially within the last year, it is easy to lose hope in the dream, allowing it to be transformed into the elusive ‘carrot on a stick’ dangling just out of your reach.

“Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him quickly out of the dungeon; and he shaved, changed his clothing, and came to Pharaoh.”~ Genesis 41:14

The enemy has a way of trying to convince us that that that is what the promises of Yeshua Jesus are, elusive and out of reach. The good thing is that we know satan IS A LIAR! (John 8:44) As we know that our Heavenly Father’s Word never returns to Him void (Isaiah 55:8-13) ( And our Savior is the Living Word that did not return unto Him void…think on that a bit more 😉 ) we also know that the truth is not found within the enemy (John 8:44). If the Lord said He is going to do somehting in your life, HE IS GOING TO DO IT!

He (Jospeh) did not allow the circumstances that had tried him to keep him in the garments and appearance of a slave or prisoner but he presented himself as a free man to the very one who had the power to promote him. Joseph dressed for the open door, one he had been waiting on.

So again I ask you are you dressed and ready for your open door? Consider Joseph. Joseph was given many prophetic dreams about his destiny and purpose. He, like all of us called by His Name, was destined to reign (Romans 5:15-17). Our Heavenly Father embedded these truths about his future deep within his being so that Joseph would know what he was meant to do and who he was called to be.

Even with these truths and promises deep within him, Joseph still endured hardships and betrayals, letdowns and heartbreaks that looked and were completely contrary to the promise and vision, but Joseph did not relent on what God had shown him. Instead, he held on to the dream. For thirteen years Joseph trusted in God in the face of more storms and more roads that seemed to lead further away from the promise, but with each step down he kept looking up, waiting for his open door.

In Genesis 41:14 we read that when Pharaoh suddenly calls for Joseph, Joseph immediately shaved and changed his garments in order to go before Pharaoh. He did not allow the circumstances that had tried him to keep him in the garments and appearance of a slave or prisoner but he presented himself as a free man to the very one who had the power to promote him. Joseph dressed for the open door, one he had been waiting on (Genesis 40).

Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry. ~Habakkuk 2:2-3

All along Jospeh believed that he was meant for greater so he dressed for greater. He held on to the Hope that ‘This might be the day!’ and it was! His day did come. He did not allow thirteen years of imprisonment to convert him in any way to a prisoner.

But not only did Jospeh hold on but so did many others like Father Abraham and Sarah who waited over twenty years of their promised miracle son, Isaac (Hebrews 11).

Yet, here is something else we need to consider and that is how we are waiting. Are we really waiting on the promise dressed with faith or are we like the fruitless fig tree giving the appearance of faith but empty of the real thing similar to the five foolish virgins who held lamps they didn’t bother trimming and with very little oil, or are we truly ready and waiting with faith and hope? (Matthew 21:18-22*, Matthew 25:1-13)

So I ask again are you dressed for your open door or are you keeping on the clothing of a prisoner and a slave with no intention of changing them because of lost hope? I pray the Holy Spirit leads you in all you do and for whatever He has in store for you I pray you are getting dressed and ready because the open door is indeed coming! Be ready.

*If you are wondering about the fig tree, understand that fig trees have what is a preseason fruit, where they bear a first run of figs and then a second yeilding. When Yeshua Jesus approached the fig tree that He later cursed, it was during the preseason for fruit. The tree had the appearance of doing what it was supposed to be doing but was empty of fruit!

~Poiema, Poetry in Motion

3 Simple Rules of Writing Well: Wisdom from the Writer’s Journal

Being a committed writer requires the following of 3 simple rules. Some might think they are related to grammar, or content, or even word count.

Although all these things have their precious place, they are NOT the most important rules of writing.

Rule Number 1. WRITE: Yes, that’s right. It’s your right to write, so write!

It sounds like an easy thing to do, but if you’ve spent any length of time polishing your craft and you realize that you do have other life obligations to attend to, you already know that writing is not as simple as it sounds.

Rule number 2. WRITE DAILY: Again with those life obligations like eating, bathing, working…These things are necessary but they eat into our time. Thus, we have to make writing daily a priority if we are ever to finish any project.

Rule number 3. WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW: This happens to be my favorite because when you think about it, the concept of ‘writing what you know’ for a fiction writer, especially those of us who focus on science fiction or fantasy, MAKES NO SINCE!

So, here is my interpretation of the old adage. You know you enjoy imagining new possibilities and angles. You have a believable idea for time travel or vampires. Write it! You’ve meditated on it long enough and are now familiar with the concept. You know it. So write it.

BONUS: WRITE BECAUSE IT FEELS SO DARN GOOD TO DO SO! 

Hey, if you read all the bold ‘writes’ in order, including the bonus, it sounds like a lovely poem. That is a bonus indeed!

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~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Waiting Like Bamboo: Learning to Take Life One Step at a Time

I’ve been asked by several people I know ‘what is your plan?’ They ask because they know my dreams. They ask because they have seen my struggle, and from their vantage point and sometimes even my own, it seems like nothing fruitful is happening.

That seeming reality couldn’t be further from the truth.

I once heard Joyce Meyer talking about growth and waiting on God. She talked about how she’d learned bamboo shoots, once planted, will spend up to five years growing deep roots before actually breaking through the surface. But once they break through they can grow a foot in a matter of hours.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” ~Psalm 119:105 

That teaching was so encouraging but the reality is, nobody really wants to wait like bamboo. We want the deep roots TODAY and the foot-by-the-hour growth TODAY.

All of this makes me think about the deceiving phrase of ‘overnight success.’ Again, one sees bamboo stretching to the sky in a matter of hours and they are led to think that its always been that way.

They have no idea the long dark pressing that the roots endured digging deeper into the earth, where no one sees, where no one gives applause, just so when the day comes for their shoots to literaly shoot toward the sky, they have roots deep enough to support the seemingly sudden progress.

I know that over the years I’ve made progress. I know this because of the evidence of the dirt beneath my fingernails and the scent of soil in my hair. I know this because my mind is still set on my goals and I have the sweat stains to prove that I’ve been working, even if only me, myself, the Lord Yeshua Jesus and the dark, are the only ones who know it.

 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.” ~Psalms 37:23

I can honestly say that now I feel as if my head is moving about in the upward soil now, that the heat of the sun is kissing my crown. I know that soon I will break through the surface and shoot toward what I’ve been working for all these many years.

I just don’t know when, exactly, the breaking through moment will happen. I just know it is near.

So when people ask me while ignoring the smell of the labor on my skin or the dirt on my face, what is my plan, my answer is, to simply to trust where Yeshua Jesus shines the light on the darkness and there, take the step that is set before me.

That is my plan. Take the next step toward breaking through.

~Poeima, Poetry in Motion

5 Ways to know You are on the Road to Writing Maturity: Wisdom from the Writer’s Journal

Writing. We don’t just do it because we love it. Most of us do it because we have to. The blessing of this ‘have to’ is that we actually enjoy it.

What I find most enjoyable are the moments I realize I’ve gained a greater level of freedom with my craft as I mature into my craft.

So how does one know they have achieved greater levels of maturity?

Here are 5 helpful hints:

Writing Maturity

1. You are no longer concerned with the timelines of others: So what your writer friend has successfully published 2 books within the last year and you have yet to dish out your debut novel.  A ‘good-for-them’ is not a ‘bad-for-you’. They aren’t your competition.

‘Keeping up with the Jones’ or for Millennials, the  ‘Kardashians’ is NOT an issue for you. You’ve learned to write at your own pace and respect the flow of your creativity, while celebrating the successes and milestones of others.

You realize your only competition is your own potential. Are you achieving it?

2. You no longer beat yourself up for not meeting your projected word count for the day: Sure, you enjoy hitting the nail directly on the head but you applaud yourself for giving an honest effort.

3. You rejoice and are grateful for the words you did dish out in a given day: Good viable words in a novel are NOT a dime a dozen. If you’ve been pursuing a writing career for long, you’ve already learned to NOT believe that hype.

To that end, you are grateful for every pearl that drops from your fingertips.

4. On word count, you realize that quality is always better than quantity: The less rambling you’ve done in your story means the less time it will take to revise it and make it shine.

You are all about good time management. The less clean-up required means the quicker you can move on to your next creative writing adventure.

5. (If you are a blogger) You’ve learned the customer isn’t always right, or rather the ‘troll’ leaving harsh, critical comments isn’t worth your emotional energy: You have embraced your right to monitor your comments section. You have  a ‘delete’ button and aren’t afraid to use it!

We all know that “taking out the garbage” makes the room smell better. After all, feeding the trolls does take away from your writing time and again you are all about time management.

BONUS: You are all about creative growth so you celebrate what your real Followers, Fans, and Writing Friends have to say!: These folks believe in your craft as much as you do. They want to see you shine. When they give you a ‘thumbs-up’ or a ‘not-so-thumbs-up’ you take it and learn from it. You grow.

Creativity is growth. And we all grow at a different pace. So enjoy your journey along the way! After all, making the most of each moment is what maturity is all about.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

The Origin of Ideas & How I Capture Them: Guest Post with Simon

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Welcome to this week’s edition of Wisdom From the Writer’s Journal. This week I have the pleasure of passing the ‘pen & pad’ to my blogging pal, Simon of Planet Simon.

Just to get you all acquainted, Simon would like to share a bit about himself, and how you can get in contact with him.

Bio:
SimonI’m Simon and I’m an engineer from the UK who’s recently found a love of writing. I write for mainly the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres. I currently have no books to my name but I’m writing short stories and perfecting my craft as I go.

 

I’m currently working on my first book but as this is new and I’m trying to do this right progress is slow. But I’m always having new ideas and making sure I keep them safe so that one day I can turn the seed into a great tree!

Links to find me are:

Planet Simon- www.sfarnell.wordpress.com

www.Universeofpossibility.wordpress.com

For my email – come and visit my sites, where you should find my email on my contact pages.

The Origin of Ideas & How I Capture Them by Simon

Before I started writing and blogging I was still a keen listener of music, I was into pop a bit but it never made me get ‘that feeling’.

I loved big orchestras playing big music, especially for movie themes and I would listen and imagine great wizards, dragons, battles of old and adventures to places never before seen or thought of. It stirred my soul.

I’ve often mentioned my love of Epica and two steps from hell. Listening to this brought me to places never before thought of and ideas that I thought I should write down.

I left them. Some of the ideas stayed and some have gone forever. I eventually started writing them down in an app from Google called KEEP. It syncs with all my devices and I can keep them safe.

It might be that you have a pad and paper, but whatever happens, keep it close and write those ideas down.

Today’s seed is tomorrow’s tree. Don’t worry if they change, they will. But write it down or you will forget!

Not all my ideas come from music, some are from thoughts, concepts and random things I’ve thought of and developed. But writers, you must keep them safe. They are yours to nurture.

So to recap on Simon’s behalf: 

  1. Ideas can come from anywhere especially music: Find what inspires you most and run with it.
  2. Never let an idea drift away: Use whatever resources you have, from pen and pad, to cool apps like ‘Keep’ to store them for later.
  3. Never underestimate a creative idea: Something small today can become a big adventure tomorrow!

Thanks again, Simon, for your words of wisdom! Until next time, folks!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!