Give Yourself the Gift of Creativity

There is something to be said about buying something for yourself from yourself. It’s not selfish (unless absolutely everything is for you). It’s taking care of yourself.

If you want to give yourself the gift of creativity, I can help you with that.

I have three books, Devoted to Creating: Igniting the Creative Spark in Everyone; 80 Creativity Tips; and Journal Your Way to Creativity.

Devoted to Creating is a book of devotions centered around creativity. Each one has a verse, short story, prayer, and creativity tip. It’s available in print and on Kindle.

80 Creativity Tips contains tip, exercises, and techniques to help you tap into your creativity. There are photos and pages for you to doodle or take notes. It’s also available in print and on Kindle.

Journal Your Way to Creativity is a 90-day self-guided program to help you uncover your creativity and use it on a daily basis. It is available on Kindle as well as in print, but considering the format, I would recommend the print version so your prompts and journaling are in the same place.

These are just a few ways you can give yourself the gift if creativity. If you would prefer coaching or courses, send me an email and we’ll talk about what would fit your needs.

When Did I Start Writing?

ecrireHere’s another one that could probably go in the FAQs.

I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked this. The answer is…complex. My creative journey started when I was quite young, though I can’t put an exact year to it.

My mom used to be a babysitter. It was my job to help entertain the kids. I would make up stories for my brother and some of the other kids. Growing up, my mom encouraged my creativity. Telling stories was just one way she did this.

I think I could say I probably started writing around 12 years old. That’s how I remember it anyway. When I was in high school, my tenth grade English teacher required us to keep a journal. She would collect them once a week. She wouldn’t read what was written, but she would just check to see if we were writing in them every day.

I wrote my first poem in that journal.

When I was in 11th grade, I got brave and showed that poem to my English teacher. She liked it. From then on for the rest of the year, she would find student contests for me to enter.

I never really called myself a writer, though. I didn’t have “permission.” Even into college.

Then, during my fourth semester of college, I was waiting in a hallway for a class to end before my next one started. A classmate walked up and saw me reading Writer’s Digest and asked, “Oh, are you a writer?”

I hesitated. Then I said, “yes.”

In that moment, something in me shifted. Something clicked.

I had permission to call myself a writer!

That made all the difference in the world. After that, it didn’t matter if people thought I could or couldn’t do it. It didn’t matter if they liked what I wrote. It didn’t matter if they thought I was a “real writer” or not.


Because I KNEW I WAS!

I had given myself permission to call myself a writer. To be a writer. To tell anyone who asked what I did. That is when I really started writing.

Taking My Own Advice

jen1Back in October, I posted about Creative Self-Care. I have to admit that I haven’t really done that myself. I’ve been in get-it-done mode.

You know how it is.

You have your list. You’re checking it twice. You’re gonna find out who’s naughty… Wait. Wrong list. And I’m not Santa.

Anyway, you have your list and you double- and triple-check to make sure you’re dong everything you want to do. Then a hiccup comes along and makes you adjust your plan, but you’re still determined to get it done.

You don’t take time for you. You get run down. You don’t feel all that great. You’re trying to do everything right, but you’re… just… so… tired.

I’m there.

There are a lot of reasons for it, not just being busy and trying to get things done, but that is part of it.

I’ve decided to lighten up on myself. I’m not going to harp on what I have or haven’t done, because that’s not the point.

I am going to rest. I am going to do things for me. That includes reading and listening to podcasts just for the fun of it. If my wrist cooperates, that means making a “dragon belly” shawl and some dragon-scale fingerless gloves. Or starting them, anyway.

It means slowing down and taking my own advice.


We Interrupt Your Black Friday Shopping…

… with this reminder.

Devoted to Creating: Igniting the Creative Spark in Everyone is free on Kindle through Tuesday.

Click the cover image to get your copy now.

Q&A with Author Leslie Bowes

Author Leslie Bowes announces the release of her book, Heart Healer, book one of the Heart Healer series. Below, she shares a book trailer and answers a few questions for us.


“That’s true, but I don’t need a servant. I need a wife.
Catherine dropped the spoon as her whole body shook. What was her father planning to do? Hard work? A wife? What was going on? She was not her father’s slave to trade as he wished. She was his daughter. Too nervous to turn around, Catherine prayed that she heard wrong.
“What did you say?” her father asked, shocked.
“You heard me.” Mr. Von-Clyer laughed. “You had no problem selling her to me as a servant Mr. Andrews, but now that I want her for my wife your conscience haunts you. What’s the difference? Either way your debt to me is paid.”
“Catherine, get over here now!” her father yelled drunkenly. The longer she stared at the vein in her father’s neck; she realized that she was making him angrier than Catherine had ever seen before.
She slowly walked over to the table and stood in front of her father. Her heart was
pounding in her chest as she watched him drink his last bit of wine.
“You will be Mr. Von-Clyer’s wife to pay off my debt.”
“What debt?” Catherine asked angrily.
“Catherine, do not speak unless you are spoken to,” her father snarled.
“What debt?” Catherine yelled.
Her father jumped up from his chair with an angry shout, bumping the table, but James jumped in front of him.
“You cannot treat Catherine like that, Father. She is your daughter and my sister, not your slave!” James yelled.
Catherine’s father was having none of that. He lunged for James, but Catherine got in between them before her father could do anything. She knelt in front of James and wiped his tears. All the while she prayed for strength.
“Thank you, James, but I need you to go to your room.”
“But, Catherine—”
“No buts. Go to your room and stay there until I come for you.”
As soon as James was in his room, Catherine’s father grabbed her arms and shook her hard.
“Don’t you ever speak to me like that again, Catherine! Do you understand me?”
“Yes, sir,” Catherine whispered, scared for her life.
“Good. Now go with Mr. Von-Clyer and pay off your debt.”
“Father, I beg of you. Tell me what my debt is?”
JNO: My blog focuses primarily on creativity. What is your creative/writing process?
LB: I put ideas in a game plan of how I want each chapter to go.
JNO: What prompted you to write this book?
LB: Heart Healer started out as a historical romance called Rose Hill but it did not get published. So I stared on a contemporary romance called A Second Change At Love.  When I was in middle of writing, I noticed something was miss. So, I pulled out Rose Hill again and put parts of Rose Hill and A Second Chance at Love together and it became Heart Healer.
JNO: What advice would you have for anyone starting to write their first book?
LB: Never give up and never stop writing.
JNO: Where can people find you and your book?
LB: Heart Healer is available on Amazon in print and on Kindle. I’m also on Facebook at the Heart Healer page.

Introducing Patreon

I’ve heard a lot about Patreon recently. (And by recently, I mean in the past year.) I’m sure you have too. I wasn’t sure if it was something I wanted to do or not, but I’ve decided to go for it.

Before I launch, though, I want you to know a little more about it. So here’s a short video.

In a few days, I’ll tell you more about my page and what you can expect there. In the meantime, look for another guest post from Niel Douglas Newton on Thursday.

Guest Post: Cooking as a Creative Outlet

Guest post by Katty Flores.

As a young girl(friend) to my now husband, and expecting mother of my firstborn… I had no cooking skills that went beyond making fried or scrambled eggs. Maybe a quesadilla or a sandwich- and most definitely knew how to put a cup-o-noodle in the ‘wave – if ya knowwhatta mean. Wink. I mashed boiled beans with oil and water to attempt the refried beans ordeal but the end result appeared more like play sand.

My husband is of Mexican descent so he was used to eating authentic food… oops. And yikes. I… am Central American but the only background of food knowledge I had was eating my aunt’s home cooked meals. Growing up in Miami (driving in its traffic) – my mom would come home late and tired. She paid my aunt to shop for extra groceries so she could make larger batches of food and we could eat. Clever and convenient. However, I didn’t get much training at home for this very reason. By the time the opportunity came for me to learn I wasn’t interested. Now, back to being a young, pregnant girlfriend. My mother-in-law taught me how to cook a couple of authentic dishes. My grandma taught me how to cook chicken, beef and pork- and plug in the rice cooker. To be fair.. she did show me the stove top way (aka pilaf) but she loved me enough to teach me how to simplify my life.

Years were going by (second child born) and I practiced basic, feed em’ enough to keep em’ alive methods. At this point it was a necessity.

The interest to be more intentional with cooking happened was during a desperate moment of attempting to show my husband some love and more so the reality of living in the country where we didn’t have good restaurants nearby. Not to mention, a budget.

After reading a book on marriage (eye roll) I realized I hadn’t really been trying to make my man’s tummy happy. My kids still didn’t call me an amazing chef. Today… it’s all different. PSA: Getting creative in the kitchen doesn’t mean fairy dust gets sprinkled over yer forehead through the night and you wake up a 5 star chef.

All I did was dig deep within my gut and churned up the desire to research – and to happily accept more kitchen cleanup.

I began by watching YouTube (high pitched angelic chorus) – I searched for specific video tutorials within the cuisine I was attempting to master – I followed bloggers and as the good ol’ slogan reads: I “just did it”… I began to get better. What’s interesting is… once I was following recipes I actually tweaked the amounts of spices and herbs, paired things up with different sides… and all’vasudden I was enjoying the process. I now had ideas brewing in my own mind. My family was praising my meals and I enjoyed every second of it. I found out quickly that our creative juices do kick into gear. Mexican, Asian and American cuisines alike; I’ve made some oohs and awes happen ‘round the table.

The encouragement piece here is getting creative in the kitchen or any other area really is about taking action in a creative way. Finding the resources and implementing them becomes half the

Katty Flores is a lover of cilantro, lime, salt, pepper and chili as well as fresh, homemade foods and drinks. She currently resides in North Carolina and is soulishly seeking her place in the world of writing and creating. A wife and mother, her greatest desire is to spend every moment nurturing those two roles as her greatest gifts.