The Measurer of Our Success: Faith-Filled Encouragment for Creatives

Colossians 3:23-24, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”

Each day is a new opportunity to step out in faith and make strides toward your vision. Sometimes, the lens by which we rate our productive success, causes us to lose heart, and even drive, to continue with the work we’ve done or planned to do.

Other times, we find that although we’ve planned to-do a list of specific things, our hearts and minds are driving us to do something totally unrelated, and we struggle to stay focused on the well-rounded plans we set for ourselves.

We want to do our best, after all. We have plans for our future and that future can only be realized if we stick to the task.

Let us remember, that as we walk out of one week, and prepare to enter another, that if we have submitted to the trusting faithfulness of the Lord Yeshua Jesus, that He is faithfully guiding our steps (Psalm 37:23).

Let us meditate on the truth that we are not even in a position to judge our own success, nor are we in the position of being our own Lord. We work for the Lord and not ourselves.

This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be good stewards over the tasks and time He has given us, rather, that we should be cognizant of Who is guiding and blessing us with whatever measure of success our work produces at a given time.

To that end, let us do our best with each day and moment we have, to celebrate what we are blessed to accomplish when we step out as good stewards unto the Lord and call our truest efforts ‘good’ as we do them unto Him! (Genesis 1)

~Poiema, Poetry in Motion

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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!

Well Worth It: Flash Fiction Results for #Blogbattle Week 56 & Monday’s Muse Feb 8 2016

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Well Worth It: Flash Fiction

I didn’t care what anyone had to say. She deserved it, every icy, pin-pricking sting that hit her face and made her stupid blouse crinkle. I especially enjoyed the way her glasses sat eschew on the bridge of her nose, a nose that was begging me to sock her one.

I’d always been the ‘blessed child,’ as my mother used to call me, a stickler for coloring in the lines and following the rules. I was, indeed the predictable, safe, choice for just about everything.

But today, no, the last few months had worn my resolve thin as oiled tissue paper. And so, rather than taking several breaths and turning the other cheek, I acted on impulse.

The glass was already in my hand when Cassidy began to drip her poison from her ruby lips. I’d begun to image the color was from blood stains. She was a blood-sucker. She had an indiscriminate way of choosing her victims, hounding them with petty jibes, underhanded comments, and back-stabbing behaviors, all given with a smile as she wheedled her way up the corporate ladder.

Blood-sucker, straight from Hades. Cassidy Wellhagin was strictly unholy. Today, however, she had received a blessed baptism with an icy rebuke to follow. The red marks from where the ice cubes had thunked her in the forehead had begun to peak through her pale skin.

The staff cafeteria was eerily quiet, that was until I burst into a fit of laughter. I’m not quite sure if it was from Cassidy’s still frozen posture, the fact that I’d done something so out of character, or that my boss was approaching the two of us as if he were trying to defuse a hostage situation.

He even flinched when I sat the glass back on the table. “No worries, it’s all gone.” I offered him an assuring smile, said Cassidy’s name as if in thanks, before turning on my heels and heading towards the exit.

I had no hope of retaining my job one minute past that stellar moment. Assault is generally frowned upon at the workplace.

But the applause that followed me as I made my grand exit was certainly well worth it.

THE END

Better late than never, I say! Today is Blog Battle Tuesday, with the KEYWORD: INDISCRIMINATE and by GENRE: CONTEMPORARY, but I’ve decided to marry the occasion with a well overdue completion of a Monday’s Muse prompt from February.  Click Monday’s Muse to see the original prompt and rules. To read more stories by other Blog Battlers, or to join the challenge yourself, click HERE.

Dream. Imagine. Belive. Do. CONQUER!

So I Had These Ideas, Right?: Progress Report On My Progress

Hello my friends! Let me start by telling you this random tidbit, I just LOVE Thursdays! They are like my favorite day of the week!

Okay, enough of that. On to business. And what business you might be wondering. Well the business of IDEAS, and progressive movement.

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I have been blessedly overtaken by a slew of creative ideas and organization which gives me a better view and grasp for the future I aim to take hold of.

For a while I felt as if I was trudging through muddy thoughts and false starts but now the light of creative direction is shining brightly, praise Yeshua Jesus!

The ideas are in 4 areas: Blog, Books, Blog Novel, Business

First item of said business: the BLOG.

Blog: Since I changed my blog theme a few months back to Libretto, I feel as if my blog thoughts have become more cohesive. Its like this theme has somehow taken my jumbled ideas and put them into a type of order.

I am grateful for that.

Before, I felt as if (with the blog, Blog novel and other things) I was just throwing thoughts out randomly and hoping that something would stick.

But Libretto has this snazzy way of gently separating things, and with that comes this feeling of separate and orderly thoughts. That, and the fact that since this past July I have shed a TON of distraction and excess baggage from my life that has freed up a whole lot of clear thinking space. Things are beginning to make sense…again.

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So what are my ideas for the Blog:

  • Regular Blogging Schedule & Topics: Truth be told, I have already begun to blog on a regular schedule but I plan to add a few more topics to my sharing world: Music Interludes, Words of Faith, and WRITING CHALLENGES & PROMPTS!!!!

I am REALLY excited about the writing challenges and prompts! Yes, we have Musing Monday’s, but before Monday was Tuesday and on Tuesday was some really fun and wacky writing prompts that yielded some delightful fruits.

I will begin by REPOSTING some of my older Writing Prompts starting NEXT THURSDAY. But if you’d like to take a sneak peek, you can do so by clicking the link under the FICTION TAB called WRITING PROMPTS.

  • Add more titles to My Favorite WritesDon’t get me wrong. I would like for all of my stories to be read, BUT in light of the reality that this is not the case, I am going to continue to highlight those stories I am most in love with. You can find those by clicking HERE.
  • Creating an Author Page for Published Works (COMING SOON) My goal has always been to publish my works, and I aim to do so no later than Fall of 2016. The self-titled Author Page will be up February 2016. That blog will be more geared around published works soon to hit the market, future projects and who I am as an author. (I will share more on that in the new year.)

Books: What’s on the Menu

I know that ASCENSION GRAVEYARD has been the only novel of mine (Though still unfinished…we will get to that) that the blog universe has seen, however I have over 125 titles, several have already been started and many have been completed including several rounds of revisions and editing.

With that being the case, its time to allow those stories to shine, even while AG works out its issues.

  • Revise WARDEN, and NEXUS GATE 4037: THE ANIMAL, for Self-Publication in 2016: I am super excited about these two titles as both were written during my June version of NaNoWriMo. Unlike AG, both were completed in less than 90 days, and both are part of separate series! I will share a few chapters of WARDEN (as that will be the first to be published) here on I Came For The Soup on the debut day of my Author Page! I will be expecting some feedback too folks.
  • Continue to write other novels that are whispering: I have mentioned that I wanted to challenge myself with writing straight up romance. Well, I have been doing that. Saturday nights are dedicated to my work on an Clean Read Inspirational Romance, titled “Where She Lands.” This story whispers on the weekend and I take the time to listen while I rest from AG, Warden and Nexus Gate.

What’s happening with Ascension Graveyard, your Blog Novel? 

I am fiddling with cover ideas...this is my recent attempt.
I am fiddling with cover ideas…this is my recent attempt.

Don’t think AG has been neglected even though no new chapters have been shared in a loooonnnggg while. I am still ripping it apart in order to piece it back together.

One of the biggest revelations I had to come to was accepting that although I will digitally self-publish this book in the future, I have no idea how near that future is. AG, like every story, has its own character and flow, length and detail. This story is more “involved” than I had been allowing it to be. It may end up being long, or far shorter than I imagine. But in order for it to be either I must weed out the noise that is holding it back. Which is what I am currently doing.

What I can guarantee is that the finished product, plot and all, will be completely different even from what is currently posted. Such is the world of revisions and rewrites.

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What’s the Business:

I have already given you a dim look into the world of Shizen Brook: Art Prints and Fashion Accessories, but much more is on the horizon. Learning to take my time is key. The itch to rush ahead and try to produce certain products NOW can be tough, but in order for anything to stand and stand long, it must have deep roots.

I intend to make Shizen Brook grow and grow deep. My vision grows clearer day by day. Products are being designed and my Advertising Degree is being but to good use.

I know that I am holding gold I just need to purify it, if you will.

  • Keep to production schedule: After the Holidays have gone, I introduce my late Winter and Early Spring line of jewelry
  • Create a blog to share my progress:  Although I don’t mind it at all sharing what I am doing here, I think with the direction I am headed with this company, it is best to give it its own platform. 

So those are my ideas in a nutshell. Thanks for stopping by!

Cheers!