Writing Creatively—From Failure to Success

 

Failure is an essential part of success, as well as a fundamental aspect of creativity.

It may be odd to consider failure as an essential part of success as indicated in the quote above by Land. But this is a Biblical truth as well as a fundamental aspect of writing creatively.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
—2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ESV

 

Writing Creatively—Failure to Success—I will fail.

As an entrepreneur, I write constantly! Don’t you? For myself, I write lists, vision boards, schedules, journals, and more. For my tribe, I write thank you notes, emails, social media posts, newsletters, blogs, webpages, sales funnels, books, and more!

If you have ever undertaken a creative writing endeavor and failed, you know it feels like a calamity. For that matter, it may even look like one. During the creative failure, there are many thoughts which come. Among them, at least for me, are thoughts like, “I am a failure,” “I’m not creative,” and most of all, “I can’t do this.”

We live in a busy and self-sufficient society. Get it done. Do it quickly. Do it yourself, if you want it done right. You feel you are on your own. All your success depends on you. It is good to know that as a follower of Jesus, this is not the truth. The truth is you will fail, but—BUT—there is grace.

 

Writing Creatively—Failure to Success—Strength in weakness.

As with so many biblical truths and principals in the kingdom of God, the idea that there is strength in weakness seems very contrary to our worldly view. Paul rejoices in his weaknesses, in his failures, because that is where the “power of Christ rests upon him.”

He goes on to point out that when he is weak, it is then that Christ is able to be strong in him. We fight weakness when truly we should embrace it in order for Christ to be strong in us. How does this relate to creativity?

There is only one perfect Creator. We can only ask that God’s creative power work through us. Nothing that we create will ever reach the perfection of anything God has spoken into existence. However, this is not something to grieve. This is a fact to embrace. In your weakness or imperfection, the grace and creative power of God can manifest and make you strong.

 

Writing Creatively—Failure to Success—I can do all things.

“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
—Philippians 4:13

I take great comfort in knowing I can do all things because it is Christ who gives me strength. He is the one who gives me the strength to breathe. He is the strength I call upon to get out of bed every morning and carry on throughout my day with the things He has gifted me to do. So, with all my creative projects—whether writing, painting, or business strategy—this is my prayer:

Lord, let me have a deep and full understanding that Your grace is sufficient for me. Let Your power and strength be made perfect in my weakness. Teach me to be content in all circumstances and even to rejoice in my difficulties because I know it is in these times of weakness You have become my strength, and I can do all things because it is You who give me strength.

 

I encourage you to write your own prayer about weakness, failure, and taking on the grace and strength of Jesus in those times.

Let us help you Write Creatively at nacwe.org.

 

Blessings,

Karen, NACWE Education Coordinator

 

 

 

 

Karen Lindwall-Bourg is the passionate Founder of and Counseling Supervisor at RHEMA Counseling Associates in North Texas.  She and her team of zealous Associates desire to be voices of wisdom and compassionate companions for their counseling, coaching and consultation clients on their journey to insight and inspiration.  She has been a NACWE member since 2013 and offers Counseling, Coaching, and Writing/Publishing services. You can connect with Karen at karenbourg.com and rhemacounseling.com.

 

 

7 Steps for Getting Creatively Unstuck!

 

 

Getting creatively stuck happens. However, it doesn’t have to happen. You don’t have to sit with your head in your hands, pulling out your hair while you struggle with writer’s block. Get creatively unstuck!

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3 ESV

The Lord is faithful. He is merciful toward us. Jesus said, “Ask, knock, seek.” When you are creatively stuck, get yourself lined up with the Creator. Start with these creative pump-priming ideas!

 

1. Getting Creatively Unstuck—Pray It Out.

It may seem like a strange thing to do when you need to be creative, but Paul encourages us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). It would stand to reason that since we should be praying all the time, we can pray about everything that comes up in our lives, in our businesses, or in our days. Take a few minutes, focus your mind and energy, and pray about the task that needs your creative attention.

 

2. Getting Creatively Unstuck—Be still.

Now therefore stand still and see this great thing that the Lord will do before your eyes. 1 Samuel 12:16

We are busy. We glorify busy. This is the hard one for me—Mrs. Type-A! Theologian Dallas Willard said, “Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” Slow down. Stand still. Pray and listen to what the Lord is saying to you. He will prompt you toward a solution to your problems, even if that problem is that you feel creatively stuck.

 

3. Getting Creatively Unstuck—Seek out inspiration.

One of my favorite ways to get inspired is to go looking for it. Sometimes, inspiration is found in the way the sunlight comes through the trees in my yard. Sometimes, inspiration is discovered while browsing through posts on Pinterest. Sometimes, it is gleaned from looking up scripture and asking the question, “What does the Bible say about…?

The right inspiration will get you unstuck every time, but you must have an open mind to see what is staring you in the face.

 

4. Getting Creatively Unstuck—Open your mind to a different idea.

Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtains guidance. Proverbs 1:5

Often when we get stuck creatively, it is because we have set our minds on a certain idea, solution, or plan. This scripture is great because it describes what the wise do—they hear and increase learning. This implies the wise are listening. Getting unstuck may require you to talk out your problem, listen to other solutions, or listen to ideas that seem contrary to yours. In addition to listening, seek to understand. It is in the listening and the understanding where learning and guidance prevail.

 

5. Getting Creatively Unstuck—Talk it out.

There is nothing like a good brainstorming or brain-dumping session. You can do this on your own by just writing down every idea, solution, or problem that comes to mind. Or, you can do it with a group of people. No answer is judged. Some of my best ideas have been sparked by someone else’s outrageous or impossible input. You never know what will inspire or set off a chain of thoughts that lead right to the answer you need.

 

6. Getting Creatively Unstuck—Reflect and remember.

Take a quick moment and reflect on the ways God has come through for you when you have felt creatively dry or stuck. What happened? What did you do? What did God do for you? Remind yourself of God’s faithfulness and the fact He cares for all aspects of your life.

 

7. A Prayer for Getting Creatively Unstuck:

Lord Jesus, thank You for telling me great and hidden things as I call on You for answers. Thank You for answering as I ask, seek, and knock regarding my creative ability. Lord, show me the steps You would have me take to release the creative talents you have blessed me with as part of my divine design. Let me only say and do what You, Jesus, would say and do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Interested in knowing more about creativity or growing your business? Want to touch base with other women just like you?

Join us at the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs.

Dive deep with your questions and get helpful and constructive answers when you need them.

 

Blessings,

Karen, NACWE Education Coordinator

 

 

 

 

Karen Lindwall-Bourg is the passionate Founder of and Counseling Supervisor at RHEMA Counseling Associates in North Texas.  She and her team of zealous Associates desire to be voices of wisdom and compassionate companions for their counseling, coaching and consultation clients on their journey to insight and inspiration.  She has been a NACWE member since 2013 and offers Counseling, Coaching, and Writing/Publishing services. You can connect with Karen at karenbourg.com and rhemacounseling.com.

 

 

You Are Creative

 

 

Creativity is an essential part of building your business. It can also be one of the most daunting tasks. I have heard so many people say, “But I’m not creative.” Oh, yes, you are!

YOU are creative; yes, you are!

Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. —Genesis 2:7

And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” —Genesis 2:23

 

You are creativecreativity is part of your Divine Design.

Creativity was not passed out to others in the creativity line while you were in the wrong line. Creativity is a gift to all God’s children. It is inherent in your design. We are all created in the image of God. God literally breathed His life into man as the crowning glory of creation.

Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you. —Jeremiah 32:17

The God of the universethe God who created the heavens and the earth and all things in, around, about, and under the earth breathed life into you. His creative essence is part of your divine design. It is not a gift handed out to just the painters or sculptors. It is a gift for every living being who is a temple of the Holy Ghost.

 

You are creativeyou have the creative power of the Creator.

The creative power of the Creative One dwells in you constantly. All we need do is ask for the power that works within us to help us accomplish the tasks set before us.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us. —Ephesians 3:20

Creativity is defined as the “quality of being creative” or “the ability to create.” Now, before you write yourself off thinking you are not creative by definition, let’s consider what creativity encompasses.

Problem solving is a creative task. Communicating your ideas clearly to be understood is a creative endeavor. Decorating your home, baking, cooking, organizing your shoe collection, keeping the family schedulethese are all tasks which require creativity. If you can figure out how to get three different kids in four places at the same time, trust me, you are creative!

 

You are creativeyou are a well of creativity.

You are in touch with an unlimited creative resource. Just prime your creative pump and get those divine ideas flowing! The more you exercise creativity, the more creative you will become.

Take some time to consider: in which ways are you traditionally creative and in which ways are you non-traditionally creative?

 

You are creativea blessing for creativity.

As you consider your creativity, may God bless you with being in tune with the creative design of the Creator in all you see. May God bless you with knowing His creative breath lives and flows through you; you can ask for that which you lack and He will answer your prayers.

We are learning all about Creativity this month (March 2017) in NACWE (National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs). Join us at nacwe.org if you are interested in knowing more about creativity and how it applies to growing and strengthening your business! At NACWE, we encourage, support, and build creativity in one another!

 

Let's be creative together!

Blessings,

Karen, NACWE Education Coordinator

 

 

 

 

Karen Lindwall-Bourg is the passionate Founder of and Counseling Supervisor at RHEMA Counseling Associates in North Texas.  She and her team of zealous Associates desire to be voices of wisdom and compassionate companions for their counseling, coaching and consultation clients on their journey to insight and inspiration.  She has been a NACWE member since 2013 and offers Counseling, Coaching, and Writing/Publishing services. You can connect with Karen at karenbourg.com and rhemacounseling.com.

 

 

Book Review: A Company of Owners

companyofownersAbout CULTURE (NACWE Focus for November 2016)

Book Review of

A Company of Owners: Maximizing Employee Engagement -Daren Martin

By

Karen Lindwall-Bourg

 

I love this book! It is small, colorful – every page has some color on it and every page design seems different; and I love how quickly Daren Martin gets right to the point in a concise and creative manner. I always thought culture just happened. Now I know that I actively and purposefully create it! And in my organization(s), that’s just what this entrepreneur is going to do!

J.C. Penney said, "I will have no man work for me who has not the capacity to become a partner."

“Owners” versus employees: Author Daren Martin begins by explaining that you must hire the right people - high-performing, empowered, “owners” as opposed to employees, who are willing to pick up a wad of paper in the hallway - and the company culture should reinforce engagement and produce an owner mentality. Do you work with owners or employees? My Virtual Assistant asked if she could spruce up a Facebook cover for me! She cares what I look like; she’s an “owner” and a keeper!

Communicate clear vision and direction through inspiring stories: Author and thought leader Blake Leath said instead of working hard to get members more engaged, you should focus on developing a company culture that engages people already and taps into their desire to succeed. Company culture begins with clear, meaningful and attainable vision and clear direction through inspiring stories that is understood by everyone throughout the company. I’m a Narrative Therapist at heart – I LOVE stories! What stories can you tell of your company culture and your vision for a successful future? Has your team ever heard your stories?

Companies need a mantra, not a mission: A mission statement is a bunch of management words on the wall that don't tend to drive action. A mantra directs actual behavior - tells you how to act, what to do, what to make a priority, and more! For example, the Ritz Carlton mantra is "We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen." Review your mission, vision & values. What is your company's mantra?

How are your team members viewed? Ownership cultures value and reward performers, outliers, and visionaries. You are on the same team with a common goal, and the result is collaboration from one area to the next around very important goals. Don’t forget to PLAY! Southwest Airlines’ philosophy is "People rarely succeed at anything unless they are having fun doing it." The best work places are full of life and energy. At your company, do you act more like a dysfunctional family or a high-performing team? How can you add fun to the team?

Jim Collins said "get the right people on the bus." The real secret to a successful business is people, people, people. You must start with the right people. Michael Jackson was wrong! One bad apple can spoil the whole bunch. Manage up or manage out. Ask yourself… Of the people on my team, would I hire them again? If the answer is no, either manage them up or manage them out!

Keep the right people: Colin Powell said, "Leaders are made, not born." Create a work environment where people want to succeed often, and provide an enriching learning and growing environment. These are incentives! Anonymous quote, “If you think hiring professionals is expensive, try hiring amateurs!" What are you doing to actively create leaders in your company and what could you be doing? How do you make your environment one of more learning and growing?

Be a manager who believes in and leads owners: What a manager thinks about workers directly impacts the results they receive. Bob Conklin said, "If human beings are perceived as potentials rather than problems, as possessing strength instead of weaknesses, as unlimited rather than dull and unresponsive, then they thrive and grow to their capabilities." Max DuPree said, "The first responsibility of the leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant." To create an owner culture, managers should regularly ask - What do you need to be even more efficient in your job? What is getting in the way? What would you change if you were in charge? Then how do you creatively say “thank you” to all you work with?

Collaborate! Be an influencer who leads and inspires people and does the right thing because it is the best thing to do. Companies that succeed foster collaboration cultures - they pick the right people, train them well, and then let them make decisions – they empower them. To truly empower you must give people the authority, opportunity, and encouragement to make decisions in all areas. Chinese proverb, "Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I will understand." My Virtual Assistant recently said, “You need to trust me!” I let go; I said, “OKAY!” And instead of being stressed, I finally felt relieved!

Be an owner … and lead others to do the same: Alan Kay said, "The best way to predict the future is to create it." Owners have a psychological stake in the success of the company that drives their daily behavior. They treat the company as if it were their own. They take losses personally, celebrate successes as if they were their own, and have an enterprise mentality. Owners are priceless and establish themselves as indispensable contributors. Owners get things done. They encourage along the journey. How can you change as an owner and how can you invite your team to be more owners than employees? Speaking of collaboration - ask them what they think!

Owners bring a plan with their idea. They give others something to say “yes” to! It's easier to say yes to a plan than to an idea.

The 9 fundamental characteristics at the core of every owner:

  • They analyze and turn data into meaningful information.
  • They initiate-they grab the ball and advance it down the field. They asked for what they need and share their ideas while taking responsibility for them. They deliver formulated strategies for making the goal a reality.
  • They are strategic thinkers who use their gifts to further the company and its initiatives by thinking creatively and pursuing opportunities and addressing problems.
  • They are forward thinkers who learn from the past but are always facing forward. They always look around the corner to see what is coming next so they can be ahead of the curve.
  • They are connectors who understand their colleagues and supervisors and those under their care as vital resources and relationships.
  • They are learners who always want to improve - they are consummate readers.
  • They are accountable and take responsibility for everything in their world all the time.
  • They are empowered and push through for taking a moment to reflect and invite input from others.
  • They empower themselves and others.

 

"Build your team. Then, build your team!” – Daren Martin

 

What are your take-aways – first steps toward building a company of owners!?

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  3. ____________________________________________________________________________

 

karenthumbnailKaren Lindwall-Bourg is the passionate Founder of and Counseling Supervisor at RHEMA Counseling Associates in North Texas.  She and her team of zealous Associates desire to be voices of wisdom and compassionate companions for their counseling, coaching and consultation clients on their journey to insight and inspiration.  She has been a Diane “groupie” and a NACWE member since 2013. Counseling - http://rhemacounseling.com and Coaching -http://rhemacounseling.com/HPA  and Writing/Publishing – http://rhemacounseling.com/rhemapublishinghouse 

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