Life Creative: IT IS LAUNCH DAY!

My goodness, it seems like it’s been a long time since I made the big announcement that I’d signed a book contract with my dear friend Wendy, but alas here we are, and you know what?

I am exhausted.

Whose idea was it to launch two books in three month’s time?! I just used the word “alas” in a sentence. Friends, it might be time for an intervention.

BUT NOT JUST YET!

Because today book baby two heads out into the world, and I want all of you to get yourself a copy of it because you will be incredibly blessed.

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Well, actually my male readers might not be so into it given that this is a book written specifically to moms. But I bet you guys (all four of you) know some moms who could use a little encouragement, so go ahead and buy a copy and give it away!

Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom is a book for every mother who’s ever felt overwhelmed.

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It’s a book for the mom who once teemed with creative ideas and dreams, but now can’t seem to find the time to fit those dreams back into her life.

It’s for the woman who discovered a wealth of creativity that she never knew existed after she became a mother.

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This is a book for the writers and the bakers, the photographers, home decorators, painters, crafters, scrapbookers, jewelry makers, hair dressers, song writers, party planners, graphic designers, and everything in between.

This is a book for the mom who longs to make some income from her creative passions, and for the woman who simply loves her hobby and wants to share it with others.

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This is for the women who are raising wildly creative children, and for those of us who once upon a time were those children ourselves.

This is a book for the weary mom and the mom who leaps out of bed each day ready to go. (Does that woman exist? Can I meet her and get all her secrets?)

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Life Creative tells the stories of over 30 creative moms who are walking the sometimes messy line between motherhood and art.

And it is available TODAY!

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This book is the perfect Christmas gift…or the perfect Happy October gift! (That’s not a thing, but I think it should be!)

I hope you’ll take a minute today to read about Life Creative, and the messages of hope and encouragement in the book.

And then hop on over to Amazon to snatch up your copy of Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom today to get your own copy of this lovely (it really is beautiful) book!

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Also – join us on Instagram as we celebrate the beauty and art of Renaissance Moms online! We will be offering fun giveaways and challenges over the next couple of weeks that you won’t want to miss!

Order your copy of Life Creative now!

*affiliate link included

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Business and Art: Finding Your When

The Business of-2

“So when do you find time to work?”

The question is a simple one, but for some reason it always makes me want to laugh, perhaps even chortle (though I’ve never quite figured out what a chortle sounds like).

The phrasing of that question is spot on, because the time to work truly has to be found – it rarely ever finds me.

Since bringing two of our children home to homeschool, my time has been more limited than perhaps ever before. Homeschooling requires me to be fully present for several key hours of each day, which I don’t mind because I’m shockingly enjoying the process. But it does mean that I need to be strategic with my time.

Lately I’ve taken to getting up early to work. Early morning has always been my favorite time of day. I love the hum of the settled house, the smell of coffee, and the buzz I get as my brain starts churning with creative juices.

Getting up early means fatigue, though. Sometimes I’m so tired that by the time we get through our school day, and I get the toddler down for her nap, I have to lay down myself, which cuts into some of my potential work time.

Truly it’s all a dance.

Some days I wake up bursting with energy and manage to get a ton of work done. Other days, I drag myself from my bed only to stare at a blank screen in a sleep deprived stupor.

The final, and perhaps trickiest, component to turning your creative hobby into something more is designating the hours needed to work your business.

Whether you have kids in school all day, grown children who have left the house, or still have small people home with you at all hours, finding the time to work takes effort and discipline.

There isn’t a formula for this part of the equation. I wish it were that easy. But each of us has to manage our time within our own unique circumstances.

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I know women whose creative minds come alive at night. They knock out mounds of work as soon as everyone in the house is settled and then go to sleep fulfilled.

Some women, like me, thrive in the quiet, early mornings. As the sun thrums just below the surface of the horizon, we early birds find our worms and gear ourselves up for the long days ahead.

Perhaps you have some time in during the day while kids are in school, which you can earmark as your creative hours.

Or maybe you hire a sitter to come in a few afternoons a week so you can sneak off to a local coffee shop and knock out projects uninterrupted.

The point is it will look different for all of us, but one thing remains consistent across the board: All working mothers must find the time. It doesn’t appear magically, but rather has to be mined from the insanity of each changing day.

Making a business of your art requires tenacity. You have to know what you’re working for and why, and then you have to believe in what you’re doing enough to make the sacrifices necessary to do it. And make no mistake, when you take your creative hobby to the next level, you’re taking your family with you, so let them in on the journey.

Let the people closest to you in on what you’re working toward so that they can be a part of the journey. Don’t make them watch from the periphery, wondering what’s going on and why you’re suddenly a little more dependent on coffee.

Let them become partners in your journey, helping you find the time to chase after your passions. Because there is no more beautiful sight than that of a Renaissance Mom who indulges in the art of life with her little ones by her side.

The Business of Art

This concludes the five parts series on making a business of art. It’s been a brief, but I hope helpful, glimpse into the ways that busy moms can take their creative hobbies and turn them into something more.

What steps will you take today?

 

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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.

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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: Maintain Perspective

The Business of-2

I’ll never forget walking through the mall that day with my friend.

It was a weekday, let’s call it Wednesday, and we’d met up with our new babies for a little afternoon out of the house.

We called it a “play date”, but given the fact that neither of our children could yet hold their heads up on their own, it was clearly a mommy date.

“How it going?” I asked her, and she smiled. Her daughter was two weeks older than my son.

“It’s good,” she said. “I’m tired, but it’s not too bad. You?”

I nodded. “The same.”

We were quiet for a moment as we strolled through the mall, pushing our way past windows with clothes we couldn’t quite dream of wearing, new motherhood still settling in places we weren’t yet proud to show off.

“I miss working,” she said after a few minutes of silence. She said it quietly, like it was a confession of something for which she needed to absolve herself.

Before having a baby, this friend of mine had been in the corporate world, and she was good at it. She was an event planner for a large company, the woman in charge, the one who called the shots.

Now she was at the beck and call of a 12 pound human without any language skills, but with demands greater than any corporate boss.

I nodded my head because I understood, but only to a degree. I had never been in the corporate world, you see. I’d known from the day I graduated college that I wanted to be a writer, and so instead of getting a “real” job, I’d done side jobs that let me fuel my obsession passion for the written word.

But I did notice that things had shifted in the weeks since I’d brought my boy home. Though he slept well and often, I couldn’t seem to find time to write anymore. I felt a little lost, and so we walked along, the pair of us, lost and unsure of what our roles would be moving forward.

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Of course, trying to decipher what your role will look like outside of motherhood is always tricky in those first few months after having a child. Time offers perspective, which allows us to see where we can fit our dreams back into motherhood.

But it’s true that my corporate-loving friend and I shared a common trait – we feared that we’d somehow missed the boat in the pursuit of our careers.

I understand that not all women feel this way.

Some have children, and they’re able to continue moving forward in their careers or passions after the allotted recovery time. But I believe we’d all admit that it’s different after kids come to play.

Two months after that meeting, my friend went back to work. While she was excited to get back to her job, she called me the morning she dropped her daughter off at day care for the first time, her voice quavering with emotion.

“This isn’t what I thought it would be,” she said. “That was really hard.”

I, also, was back working, though my work looked different than hers. During nap times, I was writing, tapping away at a book I hoped to finish. I researched agents and editors and publishers. But when baby cries pierced the silence, my work was done, and the whole process was moving along at a snail’s pace.

But then…

When I pulled that baby boy out of his crib and his smile split wide his face, somehow my longing to keep working melted away. I relished my role as his mom. That baby boy is now thirteen years old. He’s taller than me, and his voice is deeper, but he still has a smile that melts my heart.

He, and the ones that followed him, made the journey worth it. Maybe I haven’t written as quickly or prolifically as I’d dreamed of doing when I accepted my college diploma, but somehow I don’t care anymore.

Perspective is key.

Likewise, my friend now has three children, and she’s worked on and off in the last thirteen years. She still loves working, but she’s learned to love the in-between times when she’s at home. She, like me, has realized that this phase of raising children is shorter than we think. It goes faster than either of us ever could have imagined that Wednesday in the mall.

The Business of Art

Maintaining perspective in this journey is paramount to contentment. Some of you hardly missed a beat after you had children, picking up and continuing in your pursuits with (relative) ease. And for others, this path has felt a bit overwhelming and ambiguous.

But the truth that all of us can agree upon is that motherhood changes things, and that’s okay. What we do with that change will look different, but at the end of the road we all took the journey and survived.

So…yay us!

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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: 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.

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thriving

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

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