Business and Art: Invite Yourself to the Party

The Business of-2

*This is a continuation in my 5 Part series on how to turn your creative hobby into something more. To read the first post, click here.

On my second to last day at the conference, I was licking some wounds.

The night before, a popular band had come to perform and there was a floor open for dancing. One thing you should know about me is I love a good dance. Going to dance clubs in college provided me with some of my favorite memories, and one of my first official dates with my husband involved a dance floor.

Dancing is my favorite!

But again, I was at the conference alone, and I didn’t want to be the awkward girl shaking her tail feathers solo in the corner, so I determined to mingle a bit and make some new friends.

Immediately upon entering the ballroom, I encountered a group of women I’d met briefly before. They were women who all wrote for a popular site that I enjoyed, so I introduced myself, told them how much I appreciated their writing…then I stopped talking.

I’m not a good conversationalist. Ask my husband – it’s one of the things that drives my sanguine man crazy.

Now, these women are all lovely individuals. I have no reason to think they were purposely trying to push me out, but the fact of the matter is I tried to invite myself to their party and it simply wasn’t the right moment. We all stood in an awkward circle for a few minutes until the band started playing. They started dancing, and ever so slowly I found myself standing on the outside of their circle.

I was the awkward girl shaking her tail feathers solo in a corner. So I left.

The next morning, I walked into the courtyard with a little trepidation. I was meeting someone I’d only ever communicated with online. And what’s worse, I’d asked for the meeting. After the night before, I wasn’t sure I wanted to invite myself to anymore parties so I briefly considered running.

But then I saw him and he saw me, and there was no backing out.

I’d asked Shaun Groves if we could meet face to face and talk about Compassion International and the possibility of me taking a trip with one of their blogger teams. He graciously agreed, and as this conference was in his home town, we set the meeting up.

The conversation was uplifting, encouraging, and insightful. Shaun gave me his vision for the next few trips, and we talked about some action steps I could take to perhaps join them.

We parted agreeing to pray over whether or not I would be a good fit for a Compassion Bloggers trip. I walked back to my hotel room in a fog. The emotions of the weekend were beginning to swirl around me, and I suddenly felt exhausted.

The next morning, I heard my cell phone buzz. It was from Shaun. “We’re taking a blogging team to Tanzania in May. Want to join us?”

Three months later, I was on a plane with Compassion Bloggers to Tanzania. That was the week that changed everything. It changed how I viewed my work as a writer. It changed how I viewed the world. It was the catalyst that pushed my husband and I to start the adoption process – the adoption that would ultimately be terminated.

And the balm to my grief over the termination was writing. I finished my novel in the three months after our adoption fell through, words the only thing that kept me from spinning into depression.

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Taking your creative hobby to the next level will often be uncomfortable. You may have to invite yourself to a few parties. But just because you invite yourself in doesn’t mean you’re supposed to be there. You may face some rejection (in fact, it’s almost inevitable that you will), but if you’re willing to shake it off and move on to the next party, you just might find a place where you fit.

Starting a business or a ministry takes time, confidence, and loads of perseverance. We can’t cut ties and run every time we feel unwanted or uninvited. Sometimes we just have to step up and and let people know we’re here, and we bring value to the table.

The Business of Art

A few things to consider in this second step

1.) What value do you bring to the creative marketplace? What do you have to offer?

2.) Is there already a community that’s doing what you do, or something similar to what you do?

3.) How can you step into that community and become a part of it? The fact is, we’re all better with a support network, so where can you find support in your creative pursuit?

4.) What scares you most about inviting yourself to the party? Speak truth over your fears and insecurities, and cover them in prayer.

“Do not be anxious in anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.” Phillippians 4:6

Join me the rest of September as we continue to discuss how to take your creative hobby to the next level. Subscribe to my blog in the box to the right so that these posts will appear directly in your inbox!

Read the first post in the series here.

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LC-BookCoverThis series is inspired by my upcoming book Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom. *

Co-authored with Wendy Speake, this book is specifically for the creative mom who wonders why on earth God designed her creative, and then gave her children. It’s full of encouragement and stories of renaissance moms who are impacting the world with their art, oftentimes with little ones by their side.

As a special incentive, if you buy your copy by the end of September you will receive a free pdf downloadable that expands more on how to turn your creative hobby into a thriving business. Offering practical tools that will help you take your art to the next level, this is the encouragement you need to move forward toward your creative pursuits.

Purchase your copy of Life Creative now, then come back and fill out the form to receive your free pdf downloadable.

*affiliate link included

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Life Creative Order Bonus: 5 Steps To Turn Your Creative Hobby into a Thriving Business

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Business and Art: A Series in Five Parts

The Business of Art

I sat down heavy on the bed, tears pricking at the corners of my eyes as the emotions of the entire experience threatened to swallow me whole.

I was alone at a conference for bloggers and writers, and I’d never felt more out of place in my life. When I left for the weekend, I had big plans.

I’d network with the right people immediately, and we’d all share drinks and swap business advice like old friends by the end of the weekend. I would sniff out the best opportunities for writers like me who wanted to take her career to the next level, and I’d pounce on them like a lioness in the wild.

Oh, I had big plans. Maybe they were a little too big.

It was the final morning of the conference, and I was tired of trying. I’d made attempt after uncomfortable attempt to mingle with others only to feel the sting of rejection. Turns out a lot of people had met up with girlfriends for the weekend and there wasn’t space for a shy outsider with poor conversational skills.

There seemed to be plenty of opportunities to network at this conference, but I wasn’t finding them fast enough. Always a few minutes too late, I felt dejected, frustrated, and confirmed in my assumption that I simply wasn’t cut out for the “business”.

“You’re not cutthroat. You’re too sensitive. You’re not nearly confident enough. And let’s face it, you’re really not that good.”

All the lies of the enemy rolled through my head on that final morning as I wondered if I should simply shut down my blog and quit dreaming of more. I had three little kids at that point, so maybe motherhood was all that was meant for me.

Wasn’t that enough?

There’s more to this story, of course. It’s been four years since that lonely morning in my hotel room, but something happened on my last day of the conference that would eventually lead me to today.

I’ll tell you all about it another day. *wink*

 

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For the next few weeks, I’ll be discussing ways that you can turn your creative hobby into something more. Maybe it’s a business, a ministry, or simply a tool to bless others. I want you to walk away with the tools necessary to take your skill to the next level.

The first step in this journey is simple, and yet it’s so very hard.

Turning Your Creative Hobby into a Business Starts with Confidence.

Believe yourself worthy of the task. You have been uniquely gifted by a Creative God with certain skills and talents. They are not like anyone else’s, because they were knit specifically into you for the good works He has planned.

Trust in your unique God design, and believe yourself worthy of the dream.

Taking this step may be uncomfortable, particularly if you’re an awkward people person like myself. (If you’re an outgoing sanguine who loves a room full of strangers, consider yourself greatly blessed.)

A few things to consider in this first step

1.) What is your creative hobby?

2.) Do you have dreams beyond simply creating for fun? (It’s okay if the answer to this question is no. Sometimes a hobby is simply a hobby. More on that later.)

3.) If you long to take your creative hobby to the next level, whether it be starting a business, expanding it beyond the walls of your home, or using it to impact someone in need, what’s one step you could take this week to make that happen?

4.) What scares you about turning your creative hobby into a business?

The first step is always the hardest in any endeavor. The point is never to aim for perfection from the beginning, but rather to simply take the step, however fumbling it may be.

The Business of Art

Join me the rest of September as we continue to discuss how to take your creative hobby to the next level. Subscribe to my blog in the box to the right so that these posts will appear directly in your inbox!

Part Two: Invite Yourself to the Party

Part Three: Maintain Perspective

Part Four: Treat It Like a Business

Part Five: Finding Your When

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LC-BookCoverThis series is inspired by my upcoming book Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom. *

Co-authored with Wendy Speake, this book is specifically for the creative mom who wonders why on earth God designed her creative, and then gave her children. It’s full of encouragement and stories of renaissance moms who are impacting the world with their art, oftentimes with little ones by their side.

As a special incentive, if you buy your copy by the end of September you will receive a free pdf downloadable that expands more on how to turn your creative hobby into a thriving business. Offering practical tools that will help you take your art to the next level, this is the encouragement you need to move forward toward your creative pursuits.

Purchase your copy of Life Creative now, then come back and fill out the form to receive your free pdf downloadable.

KS-PostDivider

thriving

Life Creative Order Bonus: 5 Steps To Turn Your Creative Hobby into a Thriving Business

* indicates required






Tips for When a Creative Doesn’t Feel Creative

I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately.

There’s so much good stuff happening right now: books releasing, speaking engagements, book signings, school starting, toddlers talking – all of it is awesome. But it’s also all really overwhelming.

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Currently, I am caught in the vortex of necessary work, which isn’t nearly as fun as spinning in the vortex of creatively inspired work. Launching books requires a different set of skills – the skills that don’t come as comfortably or naturally to this creative mama.

Marketing myself? Oh, how I hate it. And yet, it’s a necessary part of the writer’s job. Lately, however, I’ve been missing the art. I miss the craft of writing. But with little time in my busy days to dive back into it, I’m looking for other ways to feed my creative soul.

Because if the creativity doesn’t work its way out, I just might break down.

This is a common theme among creative mothers. We love our art, but the time in which to divulge in it is minimal, particularly when there are young children at home. I spoke to one creative mother a few weeks ago who confided that despite having consistent free time in her days with all her children finally in school, she still found it difficult to tap into the fullness of her creativity.

“I get them on the bus, then head to my craft room, and I just stare at the supplies. I finally have the time I need, but I’m feeling entirely uninspired.”

Oh, it’s a tightrope, this life of creativity and mothering. We inch our way along, at times completely unable to indulge in art at all, because motherhood takes up all the time.

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And there are other times when the cracks of our days lengthen into wider spaces of free time, and the art won’t flow – such a cruel joke.

So what are we to do?

Here are a few tips for the creative who isn’t feeling creative

1.) Don’t Force It

The days that I most enjoy my family are the days that I don’t wake up demanding artistic perfection from myself. When I accept that there simply won’t be time to squeeze in the art, I can focus fully on the kids without an ounce of guilt.

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2.) Look for the Art in a New Place

I am a writer – that’s what I do. I’m not a decorator or a baker. I can’t sew a button on a shirt, and though I love singing, I cannot create music on my own. My gift lies almost solely in words. But what do I do when the words won’t come?

I look for other ways to let the art out.

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I’m not a good photographer, but I like trying my hand at it. My favorite artistic expression outside of writing is through the camera. No one will be paying me for my photos anytime soon (or ever, for that matter), but the simple act of pulling my camera out and playing around can unlock the words in mighty ways.

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3.) Simply Do Something

I’ve said it before – if moms can do one thing every day outside of mothering, we often find that we can breath a little easier. The accomplishment of knowing that I got one thing done lets me rest my head peacefully on the pillow at night.

Some days, inspiration hits and the time to create is magically present. Those days are a gift, and I cherish them. But they’re rare.

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Most days are a little more parsed out. Wallowing in frustration doesn’t help anyone, so I simply take heart in my ability to do something. Maybe it’s post a picture on Instagram, or perhaps I have time to punch out a blog post. Maybe I can manage nothing more than a few necessary emails, or maybe I’ll have time to work on my next book.

At the end of this life, I want to look back without regret. I’ll see seasons of life that were all mothering, and seasons that gave way to the art. But I’m certain I’ll not look back and see a life that somehow balanced it all.

And that’s okay.

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In just one short month, my second book hits bookshelves! 

Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance MomLC-BookCover* is now available for preorder, and I do hope you’ll enjoy it. The book is chock full of encouragement for moms trying to walk this tightrope of creativity and motherhood.

Check out our Instagram feed for daily inspiration, and our website for more information on the book!

*affiliate link included

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