The Importance of Identity

One danger in living the artistic lifestyle is the lure of living through your art. It is easy to begin to believe that the art you create is, in fact, more important than the life you live.

Whether it’s the thought that our art will still be around when we are not, or that our art’s impact on people’s lives is so much easier to tabulate than the sum of kindness offered to strangers. It’s a tempting lie to believe.

But why?

Many of us begin making art after we find that Continue Reading

I’m a dad.

My wife and I just had our first baby, so I’m taking a few weeks off to be with them.

Given that last week’s blog was on proper time management, I figured it would be appropriate for me to take some of my own advice. And due to the fact that I haven’t yet attained the discipline necessary to write my blog posts several weeks in advance, I’m taking a break from blogging for this extremely special time.

Truth is, I just want to be with my precious little daughter and my amazing wife and not worry about anything else.

So, in the meantime, here’s some older posts you might enjoy:

Why I Love Being Really Really Bored

Is a Story Better if it’s Based on a True Story?

Art and Religion, or Art vs. Religion?

5 Tips for Effective Time Management

tips for effective time management

Without effective time management, life becomes a circus. But effective time management is extremely difficult to maintain.

Many of us have to balance providing for our families physically, emotionally, and spiritually, while working a job, tackling passion projects, keeping God the center of our lives, and resting enough to avoid total burn out. If we struggle to maintain balance with everything on our plate, either we have to remove one of the items on our plate, or Continue Reading

Pray for an ENTIRE HOUR? WITHOUT STOPPING?

This week is a bit different than others. Rather than ramble about something you likely don’t care about, I thought it would be good for me (for all of us) to take the next hour to pray intentionally.

A while ago I was introduced to something called a “1-hour prayer wheel.” Don’t worry, it’s not some newfangled spiritually themed amusement park attraction. It’s actually an extremely easy way to guide yourself through one straight hour of prayer time.

*GASP* A straight hour of prayer time? I know, I still wince at how intense that sounds. Maybe you’ve never spent a full hour in prayer. Maybe your attention span has only rarely allowed you to focus on something for fifteen minutes at a time.

But have no fear, because if I can do it, so can you. In fact, all you need is a timer (or a clock), a 5-minute attention span, and 1 whole hour (bit of a “duh” here, I suppose).

So here’s the magic demystified: Continue Reading

5 Reasons Creatives Create

The creative life can be extremely difficult. Somedays it can fill you with self-doubt, and even self-loathing. “What a pile of word-dung! Can’t believe I thought THAT was clever yesterday!” or “Really? I just used that same vocal run again? Why can I not seem to come up with anything fresh?”

These are good times to remind ourselves why we thought being a creative was a good idea to begin with. So here’s five reasons creatives create (I hope they encourage you!): Continue Reading

Art and Religion, or Art vs. Religion?

Do Art and Religion belong together? Or are Art and Religion doomed to war with each other?

That question has fascinated me for years, and is at the core of every blog post I write.

Why?

Because I believe that Art matters; that our ideas of what Art should be heavily impact Continue Reading

Don’t Let Others Define You

Maybe you’ve always had a dream to write a book, record an album, or make a movie. All of us have had dreams that were never realized. Think of yours right now. What’s held you back from seeing it made into reality?

Whatever your dream is, I can tell you that the number one reason we don’t see our dreams fulfilled is that we let other people convince us we’re not capable of fulfilling them. But honestly? Most of the time, we have no business listening to people’s advice to, “Stop trying,” or to, “Give it up.” Especially if they themselves don’t do (or even dream of doing) what we hope to do. Continue Reading

5 Reasons Art Trumps Entertainment Every Time

We are bombarded by neon lights and promises of “good times.” But if what we want is a solid, rich experience that leaves us feeling fulfilled, Art trumps Entertainment every time.

Sure, we want Entertainment cheap and fast. That’s why Continue Reading

Is a story better if it’s based on a true story?

based on a true story

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen someone reading a novel loosely based on real events, and had them lean toward me and say, “This is my kind of book. I don’t get into made-up stories. This, on the other hand, this is a real story. It actually happened!”

I understand what they mean, but really? The inside flap of every novel says, “This book is a work of fiction.”

Here’s a few definitions of the word “fiction”:

  • Literature in the form of prose, especially short stories and novels, that describes imaginary events and people
  • Invention or fabrication as opposed to fact.
  • Something feigned, invented, or imagined; a made-up story

If you take a poll asking people if they think a fictional story is better because it’s based on true events, you’ll most likely get an overwhelming response in favor of, “Yes.”

But what is it about the phrase, based on a Continue Reading

Artist Insight: Billy Coffey, Critically Acclaimed Fiction Author

Billy Coffey

My first introduction to Billy Coffey was his novel, The Devil Walks in Mattingly, published by Thomas Nelson. I saw it sitting there on a shelf in B&N and thought, “Boy, that looks cool.” I noticed that it was Southern Fiction, which normally isn’t my cup-o-sweet-tea. But I quickly realized (within the first three pages) that it was, in fact, very, very cool. And it got cooler as the book went on, until it was nearly unbearably cool.

Billy is a lyrical writer whose work demands you devour it, yet whose flavor and depth makes it nearly impossible for you not to slow down and enjoy every savory syllable. All his novels take place in Continue Reading