Smells Like Teen (or Adult) Boredom

Photo by Pewari (Creative Commons)

Photo by Pewari (Creative Commons)

 

I tweet on Twitter.

I like on Facebook.

I wear headphones to listen to audio on my computer.

I stare at bright screens filled with shapes and colors.

I read countless words on the page and screen.

Each one is here to entertain me.

 

I rule this virtual kingdom I’ve created.

I pull the strings with the click of a button.

Make no mistake who is in charge of this world.

 

The breeze will blow,

the birds will sing,

the hungry child cries,

and I can’t spend five minutes in silence.

 

Brighter Today

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Photo by Alvandi Tabrizi (Creative Commons)

 

The sun is brighter this morning.

Not hotter

but brighter.

 

Yesterday was cold, dark, and dreary.

But today is a new day.

The colors are more vivid.

Reds redder.

Greens greener.

Blues bluer.

 

The rain washed the dullness away

and now everything looks new.

The clouds surround the sky

and support this new light.

I’m Not Jack Bauer, You Are.

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Photo by John Antoni (Creative Commons)

I don’t want to boss you around.

I simply want to help you do awesome things.

I want to be the Scottie Pippen (on the Bulls) to your Michael Jordan (pre-Wizards).

I want to be the Tony Almeida (good guy version) or even Chloe O’Brien (less quirky version) to your Jack Bauer.

The Trivette to your Walker Texas Ranger.

You get the idea.

You might not think you need coaching.

Even Rambo had Colonel Troutman and the Lone Ranger had Tonto.

You might not want to be challenged.

I don’t blame you! No one likes pain.

But pain is not as bad when you have someone on the journey with you.

 

My coaching sessions are comfortable, upbeat, and filled with encouragement.

It is time to pursue dreams only God can come up with.

 

Can I help you on your journey? 

I offer coaching services and you can read more here. I’d also like to invite you to an introductory 10 minute phone call for FREE to see if we are a good fit. Just email me with the subject line 10 minute phone call. I’ll set it up.  I can’t wait to talk to you!

 

What Key Question Guides All You Do?

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Photo by Bart Everson (Creative Commons)

 

I often wonder how can I make a difference? How can I change the world? What can I do to move forward in my dream?

But while it is easy to ask “how” or “what”, everything derives from the question “why.”

Why gets to the heart of the issue.

Why takes away distractions.

Why is the reason you get out of bed.

Why is your mission statement.

Why is your driving force.

My why is this—I want to encourage you to use your God-given gifts.  To help you pursue your passion and follow your dreams.  

 

Have you determined your why? If so, what do you think it is? If you haven’t figured it out, now is the time to figure it out!

It takes some time to figure out your why.

It is a process of connecting the dots and looking inward.

To figure out your why, it is essential to ignore the fear-filled voices in your head.

 

Here are three steps to figure out your why:

1. Take inventory of what you like to do. What are some of your hobbies and passions? 

2. How can you use what you enjoy to help others?

3. Take some time to connect those together. 

 

It is not a quick process. It took me about 6 months of reflection to figure out my why.

 

Keep working on it and don’t give up!

 

 

The Contents of This Book Changed My Life

The contents of the book Start by Jon Acuff truly changed my life. When I first heard them, I was in the middle of a nervous breakdown. Each heartbeat grew in intensity. I fidgeted to distract myself, but my heart just kept pounding louder and harder.

I was depressed and filled with despair.

Then I heard Jon Acuff ask a question that grabbed my attention: “What do the voices in your head say?” A young lady in the audience replied,”Mine say I’m not smart enough.” A man in his fifties said “Mine tell me my dream is stupid.”  The woman a couple seats from me said, “Mine tell me I’m a loser.”

Upon hearing these answers, I instantly felt better. 

I was not alone—I now had hope. I didn’t know what I wanted to do for my dream. I didn’t know specifically where my passion lied either. But this new sense of peace encouraged me. It let me know I wasn’t alone and now I was on the right path.

Fear is what stops us from being what we know we should be. It is time to not just ignore fear, but to PUNCH IT IN THE FACE.

Jon made this book as helpful as possible to guide you through. Jon is funny, helpful,  and encouraging.  I encourage you to buy this book for yourself and a copy for a friend  you know who needs it too.

If you are filled with fear, there is no shame or judgement in ANY WAY from me. Just check out this awesome website here. See you aren’t alone!

 

If I can help in ANY way please contact me– jim@unknownjim.com

What’s a way YOU can CRUSH fear today?

 

I’m giving away a SIGNED copy of the book Start–to enter just leave a comment and share this post. It is signed by Jon, L.E. and Mcrae!!!

Just leave a comment and click this link to Retweet and you’re  entered!—-> I’m Giving Away a copy of #Startbook signed by @jonacuff! 

Good luck!!!!!!!!!

 

 

7 Things I Wish I Knew as a New Writer

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Photo by Tnarik (Creative Commons)

I’ve been writing seriously for a little over a year and a half. If you don’t know my story, you can read more here. I’ve grown so much in a relatively short amount of time and I’m so honored to know so many fantastic writers.

But I’ve also had some challenges along the way: from focusing too much on social media and web traffic, to being obsessed with becoming a carbon copy of the most popular bloggers.

I wish I would have focused more on these things instead:

1. Read a lot. But most importantly—read work that inspires you. Topics and stories which captivate you and carry you to another place. Know there is no shame in revisiting old classics from when you were a kid. For example, I have fallen in love with comic books and graphic novels I read 15-20 years ago.

2. Write in private. Don’t start a blog because you keep hearing folks tell you to start a blog. Keep the work in private and focus on your craft. With blogs come a million new distractions. It can easily become a popularity contest as opposed to an exercise in writing—especially for a beginner. Without extreme focus and dedication, blogging can become a roller coaster.

3. Don’t overdo it. When I first started out, I was very excited about writing so I spent hours and hours writing every day but I didn’t take care of myself. One month later, I was completely exhausted. I fought my body and tried to ignore the warning signs. Before you know it, I made myself sick.

4. Don’t go in alone. You need support. You need community. I so wish I had this when I started out. What if you don’t know anyone? Well, you know me. I want to help!  Know there is hope, so please don’t be overwhelmed. There is a great group of writers in Writers Unite and they want to encourage you and support you to create your best work. I have lead this group for the last 8 months and I am thrilled to be a part of such a great community.

5. Write with joy. Write because you love what you are writing about. Go ahead, you can get fired up. I’m currently writing a Batman story and it’s one of the most fun things I’ve EVER done. If the thought of writing doesn’t excite you like a kid on Christmas morning, you probably are not writing about the right topic. If you are writing only to make money, you have already failed. You won’t ever be satisfied. You have to write for something more; why not choose joy?

6. Question everything. When starting out, it’s easy to just look to others for answers. The assumption is as follows: this worked for Jake, therefore it will work for me. This is often false. Each of us is different. There are no real writing rules or steps that you must follow. Everything you read about writing is a suggestion. Go ahead and question this post. I’m not offended at all. All of this is from my personal experience and yours might be different, so please find what works well for you and do it.

7. Experiment like crazy. Experiments are not failures, they are experiments. I experimented with a guitar blog for quite a while. I thought guitar was my main passion, but it turns out it’s a hobby right now. But you know what is great? Guitar could still become my main passion down the road. NOTHING is certain. Just put yourself out there and experiment. Go ahead and start today!

If I can help in any way, just fire me an email.

 

What is the best advice you have for beginning writers?

 

I’m the Master of Self-Loathing (and How You Can Not Be Like Me)

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Photo by Bobafred (Creative Commons)

 

I woke up this morning in hopes of writing, but instead I paid some bills. I shared a post on Twitter and Facebook.

I wasted a fantastic opportunity to really jump start my day but instead did mundane tasks that require little or no energy.  

Instead of beating myself up about it, I decided to write about it.

I often have an incredible tendency to self-loathe.

“When we don’t know who to hate, we hate ourselves.” Chuck Palahniuk

What does self-loathing accomplish? Not much at all. It just bottles up hate, and then it eventually leaks out.

And as you know, hate leads to the dark side.

 

How can you avoid falling into this trap?

1. Don’t compare to others—do your own thing.

2. Surround yourself with a positive support network: friends, family and other dreamers.

3. Pursue whatever you do with joy. Do what gets you FIRED up.

 

Do you face this challenge as well? How do you avoid this trap?

 

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The Modern Day Writing Rules (and Why They Don’t Work For Me)

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Photo by dbbent (Creative Commons)

These are the rules of writing today:

1. Have a blog and post at least 2-3 times a week.

2. Build up web traffic (via Facebook and Twitter).

3. Get as many comments, retweets and likes as possible.

4. Guest post to get even more traffic.

5. Reuse blog posts in ebooks to sell as products.

6. The more products you have the better—even if the products are repetitive.

7. Follow steps 1-6 to get the attention of publishers and build up your audience.


I’m sure these rules might work for some folks—and that is great—but they don’t work for me. A one-size-fits-all approach does not work for everyone.

So what works for me? Wow, good question. I’m not sure.

What I do know is this—I’m doing my best to learn and grow more everyday.  

I love the freedom of writing short stories, poems, video interviews, podcasts, and writing to encourage you.

I know to have more success* in writing it is important to fit a category. I’m sure as the reader—especially if you are a new reader—some of my writing might be hard to follow from time to time. I want to focus on having shorter, (poetry-ish or poetry-like for those who like poetry) posts on Tuesdays, and longer posts on Fridays.

 

Have you found what works for you with your writing?

 

*I believe success is a personal definition. I find success in being honest and helping others.

 

 

A Real Creative Hero: A Video Interview with Tim Gallen

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Photo by HystericalMark (Creative Commons)

I often talk about creativity on this blog. But I have to be honest; the key is ACTUALLY CREATING, not just talking about creating.

Those who create are heroes in my mind. To actually make something and put yourself out there is a very AWESOME thing. 

Tim Gallen is one of the most creative people I know. He writes all day for a newspaper (just like Clark Kent). He writes all night. He makes TV shows. I sometimes wonder, when does Tim sleep? The answer—well, he does not sleep very much. He’s pretty much a creative Superman (as noted with the great picture behind him in this interview).

Here in this video I spoke with Tim about his current writing projects and his exciting new TV series on Kickstarter, Harbor Shores. It’s a brilliant tongue-in-cheek nod to many of the teen shows of the 90′s. Will you please consider donating toward this fun project or even spreading the word about it—that helps a ton too!

Hope you enjoy the interview! (Email subscribers will need to click the link to view the video on Unknownjim.com– thanks!)

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You can see the very first episode of Harbor Shores right —> HERE.

 

 

 

Faith, Life, and Art Collide

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art–4theglryofgod (Creative Commons)

Over the past week, I encouraged others in an awesome writing group to participate in a blog link up to tackle questions about faith, life, and art.

I asked the following questions:

How does faith influence your art?

What role does it play?

Does your faith have implications in what you write?

Or just write something about your faith—especially if those questions felt confining.

And I’m overwhelmed at the response!

 

Kirsten LaBlanc wrote this post about the amazing faith of a child.

Andrea Hultman shared a poem here as she had just discovered her faith.

Chris Morris wrote here about “making your mess your message.”

Janet Boyer shared thoughtful responses to the questions above here.

Rebekah Gilbert shared ”I’ve discovered this week that my art is where my struggle between faith and religion is revealed.” You can read more of her post here.

Chad Jones has a post filled with honesty here.

Michelle Woodman wrote about her thoughts on Faith, Life and Stories here.

Andrea Ward shares her sincere struggles with this topic here.

Stephanie Carter shared her thoughts here about faith and dreams being separate.

 

If you’d like to read more of these fantastic posts, just search Twitter using the hashtag #faithartlife.

Thanks to ALL who participated!

 

Do you think your faith impacts what you create?