Bestselling Generosity

Generosity always bears new fruit...


Last week, I was the grateful recipient of a bestselling author’s lavish generosity. A bit of back story is in order: My screenwriting co-author and I have been working on a project for several years now. As part of our research, we contacted a top expert on the life of one of our key characters. “Expert” is an understatement.

He is the leading authority on the subject matter who wrote an international bestseller. His research was meticulous. His travel extensive. His fame worldwide. His storytelling precise and compelling. Nobody knows more about our character than this guy.

You’re probably wondering, “Ok already, who is it?” I won’t mention his name because name-dropping irritates me. I will like you for who you are. Not for who you know. (A simple way for us to be generous to one another.) It’s enough to say this guy is a true professional; a researcher and writer with many book awards. His work speaks for itself…

A Question of Focus

A Question of Focus

Crickets. That’s all you’ve been hearing lately from me. The crickets started cricketing last summer and they’ve been buzzing for quite a few months now. (My last post, Great Power and Beauty Await You, was way, way back in July…cricket season!) For me, it’s been a question of focus. A question of focus with my art, life, faith and creativity. I’ve simply been focused on larger projects requiring greater time, energy, faith and focus than ever before. I know many of you will benefit from them, but since many of you have been long and loyal friends to this Art, Life & Faith blog, I am sorry for my silence. It really has been a question of focus… of where I believe God has uniquely made me to make my best contribution. I’m also learning a lot about my limitations. What I can and can’t do. And the reality that I can’t do it all.

Jeff Walker, a favorite author and market strategist I follow, recently wrote about focus in his book Launch. “Your most scarce resource is focus, ” Walker writes… and here’s why!

A New Free Ebook! 7 HARD Questions for Every Artist

7HardQuestionsforEveryArtist-joLast year I wrote a blog post titled, “7 HARD Questions for Every Artist.” The post was designed to help all of us cultivate a more beautiful life. I don’t know about you, but the EASY questions never do much for me. Easy questions keep me in my comfort zones, never pushing or prodding me forward. Easy questions don’t lead to the thriving life I long for…

Since then, this 7 Questions post has become one of my most popular posts, so I decided to turn it into a short ebook as a tool to help artists, creative teams, worship teams and leaders of art retreats. Even if you’re not an artist, I think you will find it helpful. This free PDF workbook has fillable form fields to write your responses to each question. Or you can just print it off to take to your favorite park or lake.

After editing the 7 Questions and adding a bit more content, I hope this ebook helps you cultivate a more beautiful life. If you like it, feel free to share it with your friends. I’m making it available as one of many free resources we provide through The Grove Center for the Arts & Media.

Take some time alone with God or a few friends to talk through these 7 Questions. I’d love to hear what you learn and discover along the way.

Answering these questions my seriously improve the quality of your art and life!

Click here to get your free copy of 7 HARD Questions for Every Artist.

Question: What did you discover as you answered the 7 Questions?

I’d love to hear what you’re learning!

Click here to comment now.

3 Steps to Marketing Your Art

business plan concept

How can you take solid, deliberate steps to market your art with confidence and professionalism? In this guest post by artist and marketing consultant, Margot Rogers, you will learn 3 practical steps to help you market your art in a way that fits for you. If you’d like more tools to cultivate your marketing skills, I’d like to invite you to join me this Thursday, September 19 when I interview Margot for Marketing Your Art with Margot Rogers. This one-hour online class (phone and web) by The Grove Center for the Arts & Media will be packed with practical information designed to help you cultivate your marketing skills. I hope you can join us. Margot writes…

Are You An Attention-Seeking Artist?

Festival Crowd

Are you an attention-seeking artist? I know it sounds like a silly question because what artist doesn’t seek some form of attention with their art? Artists create not only for the love of creating, but for their work to be seen and appreciated. What filmmaker doesn’t want their film being seen by the masses? Does a painter paint in order to stick their canvas in the closet? Why would a composer write a score to be heard by no one? Artists are attention-seekers not unlike a salesman wanting to get the sale, a teacher inspiring their students, or a business owner wanting to hit it out of the park by making new widget. Yet, for the artist, there are some nuances regarding art and attention-seeking.

In a recent Grove online class called Pursuing Your Artistic Destiny, I interviewed my friend and co-worker, Roy Cochran. We had a great conversation about how artists and creatives can pursue their God-given creative calling. One of the points we covered was the importance of artists excelling in their craft. Roy asked the question, “Is your insatiable yearning to learn or for attention?” Jeff, one of our listeners, responded with a question of his own…

Question of the Week #9: What Do You Enjoy Most about Creating Art?

Welcome to the Art, Life & Faith Question of the Week #9: What do you enjoy most about creating art? As a writer, there are days when I’m not sure if I’m working or playing. I simply love to write. The same can be said for any kind of art that you truly enjoy creating. If you didn’t enjoy and actually love the process of creating, there’s a very good chance that you’d never become an artist. Read on…


Artists & Marketing: Don’t Vote for Other People

I know many artists who say they’re terrible at marketing. How are you at selling your art? When it comes to marketing and selling your art, are you like many artists who would rather be dragged across broken glass? Marketing feels so “commercial.” Or egotistical. Or “beneath me.” Or above me…who would want to buy my art? Does trying to sell your art feel like taking your clothes off in public? Why subject yourself to rejection or people not understanding your art?

Lemonade Stand

All these myths, errant ideas, self-sabotaging beliefs create huge walls to professional and yes, financial success. As the author of twenty published books who has more rejection slips than acceptance letters (I keep a big thick file of ’em), I have one simple principle that can make a tremendous difference in your attitude about marketing. Read on…

Top 10 Art, Life & Faith Posts for 2012

Thank you for your support and encouragement on Art, Life & Faith in 2012. I want to share with you the Top 10 posts for 2012 read by you and the rest of my friends. This past year, I saw more visitors and new subscribers to Art, Life & Faith than ever before. In writing about God, creativity, faith, the arts and the daily challenges of life, I hope you were inspired and encouraged to live a life of deeper meaning, creativity and purpose. Here’s a peek at the 2012 Art, Life & Faith posts that you and others enjoyed the most. Read on…Top10Artlifefaithpostsfor2012


Are You in Awe of the Aching Beauty of God’s Creation?

When was the last time you soaked in the aching beauty of God’s creation? Or let me ask you, how does the aching beauty of God’s creation move you? I hope it does. God’s creation could be the very heart monitor you need to check the condition of your spiritual life. The music of God’s creation is all around us and this past weekend, I had a deep soak in the visual artistry of God. A long drive through vineyards, past California oaks, and the Pacific Ocean along Santa Barbara tunes you into the frequency of God’s love like no other. If there is one thing that renews my spirit, it is the beauty of God’s creation. I have a sneaking suspicion that God’s creation does the same for you. Let me share a story. It may inspire you to go for a slow walk or long drive this coming weekend. Read on…


Thomas Merton: Thoughts on Creativity & Writing

[T]homas Merton is my favorite spiritual writer. This now-dead Trappist monk and brilliant writer who lived a quiet and creative life of prayer at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky, is one of the keenest theological minds of the 20th century. His thoughts and theology on creativity, the writing life, the restorative work of the Trinity and the kingdom of God on earth are elegant, weighty musings.

merton_1The best way I can describe reading Merton is this: Imagine Thomas Merton holding your head in a bucket under water for a few minutes. Suddenly, he pulls you up for air—a moment of brilliant clarity! You take a deep breath and then, he plunges you back down again! You don’t speed-read Merton. He has many thought-provoking thoughts on creativity and the writing life that I’d like to share with you today. I hope you find them as encouraging and insightful as I do. Read on…