Creativity: Raw Material

It’s such a temptation to treat creativity as something extra, isn’t it? When I’ve done all my work and taken care of my family and straightened the house or office and done my good deed for the day—then, if I have time and energy, I’ll do something creative. 

Humans are made in God’s image, and one of the ways in which we are like God is our ability to create. We take raw materials and make wonderful things: solid business plans, flower arrangements, meals for family and friends, works of art. Creativity is inherent to our daily activities. So, as you do your work today, examine it for its raw materials. Then reflect on this thought: What will this material become?

Prayer: Creative God, move through my ordinary tasks today, to make them beautiful.

 

from “small simple ways: an Ignatian daybook for healthy spiritual living” by Vinita Hampton Wright, Loyola Press

A Battle of Ideas

Marketing is a battle of ideas. So if you are to succeed, you must have an idea or attribute of your own to focus your efforts around.  Without one, you had better have a low price. A very low price.

 

– Al Ries and Jack Trout – “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing”

 

Courage: Name Your Fear

Courage is not the absence of fear but the willingness to keep going despite fear. A soldier fears attack by the enemy and yet moves into battle. A young woman fears that she’s not ready to be a mom and yet welcomes the unplanned pregnancy and moves forward into the months of preparation.

Not all courage is so dramatic. There is undoubtedly a fear hiding in your daily life, one related to your job or your relationships or your physical health. Pause for a moment and try to identify what you fear. Can you also find the courage to choose to move into your day despite it, perhaps with a simple prayer for help?

Sometimes the best prayer for courage is this: Don’t let fear overwhelm me or hinder my ability to do whatever task I’m given.

 

from “small simple ways: an Ignatian daybook for healthy spiritual living” by Vinita Hampton Wright, Loyola Press

All Of Us Are Entrepreneurs

 

 

by Aerial Ellis

 

We are all born with the innate ability to survive; and survival involves innovative thinking. Think about your life. Think about the things you’ve seen in your community that bother you. Think about the times you needed to make a decision – a choice – that involved doing something you were not accustomed to doing, but were motivated by the challenge.

 

Entrepreneurship is a world-changing job centered on your vision. Build a business that’s a unique expression of who you are and stands out in a crowded marketplace. Translate your vision into real work that connects with and inspires others, and make your work an authentic reflection of yourself by creatively using limited resources.

 

You are ready for the world. You are already well adapted to technology. You have a better grasp of the now, and can more easily navigate the next steps to tomorrow. Have you identified your entrepreneurial spirit and allowed it to flourish?

 

– from “The Original Millennial: Lessons in Leadership for the Millennial Generation” by Aerial Ellis

https://www.amazon.com/Original-Millennial-Lessons-Leadership-Generation/dp/1516922646/

Who do you want to reach and why?

 

by Andrew T. LePeau

How do we keep our audience in mind and not keep our audience in mind? We do it at different times. When we are first picking a topic, researching, drafting, and smashing down ideas on the page, we need not give one thought to the audience. We just do our best to get into a flow.

But later, after we’ve got the semblance of a draft together and go back to rework, refine, and edit our own material, then we keep our audience in mind. Zinsser himself hints at this. When talking about whether to put in humor, he writes, “If it amuses you in the act of writing, put it in. (It can always be taken out, but only you can put it in.)” That’s the key—we can always take it out later. We just shouldn’t take it out early in the process.

When we revise, we need a guide, a grid, a set of criteria for what to leave in and what to take out. Sometimes too much of a good thing can make a piece fail. We may think all the illustrations are spot-on, but too many of them (or the wrong ones or even too many good ones) can put readers off.

How do we determine what may work for our audience and what may not? We will have a hard time figuring that out with a big amorphous readership in mind, thus, the earlier suggestion to make it specific. Having one person in mind is a great way to do that—someone who is not on the fringes of the kind of people you want to reach but someone at the center.

Who should that person be? How do we choose? Another way to phrase the question “Who is your audience?” is this: Who do you want to reach and why? That is, What is motivating you to write? What have you learned that you want others to know? Who could benefit from it? A friend? A coworker? Someone you worship with? A customer? A family member?

Write for that person, and let it be your gift to them.

Taken from Write Better by Andrew T. LePeau. Copyright (c) 2019 by Andrew T. LePeau. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL.

The Fluidity of Decentralization

Our society is moving away from the rigid order of hierarchy toward the fluidity of decentralization. It is moving from nouns to verbs, from tangible products to intangible becomings. From fixed media to messy remixed media. From stores to flows. And the value engine is moving from the certainties of answers to the uncertainties of questions. Facts, order, and answers will always be needed and useful. They are not going away, and in fact, like microbial life and concrete material, facts will continue to underpin the bulk of our civilization. But the most precious aspects, the most dynamic, most valuable, and most productive facets of our lives and new technology will lie in the frontiers, in the edges where uncertainty, chaos, fluidity, and questions dwell.

 

– from “The Inevitable” by Kevin Kelly

What Can I Accomplish in Six Months?

  by Angela Enos

Whew, six months have passed since I attended my first Writing for Your Life conference. Many of the knowledgeable speakers left me feeling suitably equipped and inspired to write.  I must admit though, my jaw did hit the ground several times during the conference as we discussed building a platform. Brian’s teachings were accurate, to the point, and tremendously informative; yet the task of building a platform seemed so overwhelming to me.

Do not dismay my friend.  If you apply the wealth of information you have gained at your recent conference, and add some blood, sweat, and tears–okay, perhaps not blood–you can build a platform.

I attended my first WFYL conference in June, 2019.  For reinforcement and encouragement, I attended The Business of Being a Writer, in October, 2019. Heeding the saying “two heads are better than one,” I invited my husband to attend the October Business seminar with me, and we were educated together.  A great idea.

Six months have now passed since I began my endeavor to build a platform. Please allow me to highlight what I have accomplished.

  • Brainstormed and birthed a brand, business plan, funding, and strategy for Prayers for Life, my free, innovative, online prayer school.
  • Attended professional photo shoot.
  • Had a professional website designed and launched.
  • Learned how to produce videos, edit said videos, and add sounds, music, and subtitles.
  • Began Facebook business page and YouTube channel.
  • Learned how to produce and manage Facebook ads.
  • August 2019 – Launched Prayers for Life, my online prayer school, on Facebook and YouTube.
  • Produced weekly teaching videos and posted videos to website, Facebook, and YouTube.
  • Produced a weekly Newsletter to obtain email subscribers.
  • Designed two Prayers for Life t-shirts. Preparing to sell in 2020.
  • Submitted articles for possible print to various magazines.
  • My husband and I attended The Business of Being a Spiritual Writer workshop by Brian Allain in Nashville, TN.
  • Began working towards gaining speaking engagements. (Taught at five successful speaking engagements in 2019).
  • Began Instagram channel, Morning Prayers. A video prayer is posted each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
  • Inaugurated and advertised my 2020 plan for Prayers for Life, “Claiming the Prize.”

Well, what is left to do in 2020?

  • Procure many more speaking engagements through a mailing campaign, which was launched January 2020.
  • Add Spanish subtitles to my videos in order to open the door to a whole new audience.
  • Produce e-teachings as giveaways in order to obtain more email addresses and subscribers.
  • Submit more articles to magazines and enter writing contests.
  • Attend additional writer’s conferences.

I have worked tirelessly in 2019, and I am just getting started.  Why?  Because I believe in my books and in God’s healing power as it comes alive through my writings.  That is the key. Believe in yourself and what you are producing, whether in writing or video.  Speak those things that are not as if they are (Romans 4:17), run the race and receive your crown (I Cor. 9:24).  Be encouraged, it is possible.

______________________

 

Angela Enos is a retired youth pastor and children’s pastor; now author, speaker, and the founder of Prayers for Life, an innovative online prayer school designed to bring power and victory to God’s people.  Angela produces a weekly 10-minute teaching video, a bi-weekly electronic Newsletter, and supplemental videos and inspirational postings.  Check out Angela’s website, YouTube channel, and Facebook page for further details and to view her life-changing videos.

 

Website: www.angelaenoslive.com

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