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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How Does She…

She crawls out of bed, her feet padding lightly against the cold, tile floor. Moving almost silently past closed doorways, she holds her breath hoping that the simple increase of her heartbeat doesn’t somehow rouse the little ones from their own needed slumber.

She pulls boots onto her feet because the winter air leaves her chilled. For a brief moment, she considers crawling back beneath her warm covers, the thought of snuggling deep down into her bed wrapping itself around her in tendrils of desire.

Instead, she takes a deep breath, grabs a glass of water, tosses a longing look at the coffee pot that she can’t yet turn on for fear of waking anyone up, and she sits down. It’s time to work. This is the only time work.

And work she does.

I’ve spent the better part of the last year watching and observing how creative women merge their art with motherhood. It’s such a beautiful, messy blending together of two callings isn’t it?

In the past few months I’ve been asked several times, “How do you do it? How do you find the time to write with kids around?”

My answer? I don’t really know – I just do it.

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There are so many books out there offering tips on time management. We could all probably share the many bits of advice we’ve been given or read for building a business, generating a successful brand, or creating a successful work environment. The pointers and tips are thorough, and I’ve no doubt they’re effective.

To be a writer, you must write every day.

To build a successful brand, you need to constantly engage in your arena of expertise.

A painter needs to paint, then share her work.

A baker needs to spend time in the kitchen experimenting, developing, and perfecting her craft.

Only…what about the children?

Some of us have a few sacred moments of quiet built into our days. The children head off to school, and for several blissful hours the house is quiet. That doesn’t, however, make fitting creativity in any easier because there’s still the issue of setting the time apart.

There are always a thousand things for mom to do on any given day, even with the children in school. There are field trips to chaperone, homes to clean, meals to prepare, and a myriad other things that beg of her time.

Finding the time to create takes discipline, even when the quiet hours stretch long.

Many of the creative mothers I’ve observed and spoken with in the last year, however, don’t have those extended slivers of time alone. They’re mothers of very young children, fitting art into the cracks of their days.

They’re homeschool moms piecing creativity in the crevices while the kids are at “recess”, eating lunch, or reading a book. They’re simply fitting it in where they can.

I have a book coming out later this year, co-authored with Wendy Speake, in which we offer a glimpse into the lives of these beautiful, amazing, successful creative mothers. It answers the question “How does she do it?” but even more than that, it answers “Why?”

Why do we forgo that extra hour of sleep to tap away on the computer?

Why do we slip away each day while the children are at school and put paint brush to canvas?

Why do we study the art of photography and dedicate ourselves to capturing the beauty of the world through a lens?

Why do we find joy in helping others decorate their homes, pulling together spaces that bring joy and peace?

Because the truth is we can’t really answer the question “How” without also addressing the “Why.” The two go hand in hand, and they have to be examined simultaneously.

In this present digital age, we have the ability to enter right into the living spaces of women around the world. Women are showcasing the beauty and the glory of life and art and motherhood in their online spaces, and the picture of it all is stunning. Because the truth is, it’s all art.

Life and motherhood are simply a moving picture of art – creation – and all of it an extension of the Creator.

So it is that in the midst of all that living and mothering, women are showcasing their art, and it is worship. Every bit of it.

So how do I do it? How does she do it? How do any of us do it?

We get up, pad across the tile floor, blink the sleep from our eyes, and we give in to the call to create. There isn’t a one size fits all formula. There’s simply an acknowledgement that this is what we do. It’s life.

And all of it is art.

 

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