Motivated Monday: Creativity Takes Courage

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“Creativity takes courage.”Henri Matisse

Sending Love and Light to all of you.
Luck of the Irish (Holiday Heartbeats#3) is now available. Thanks for your support!

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, writing. She is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

Hold on to Your Dreams

Thank YOU!

First of all, I want to thank all of you who have supported me and my works, especially during the month of August, when I released my third book, Luck of the Irish! Thank you so much for downloading this third Holiday Heartbeats story (the longest and so far, my personal favorite). I’m so excited that this book is getting into hands around the world. What a dream come true!

Keep On Dreaming On

As an adult, when you believe a dream of yours, it can be difficult to hold on to that belief  – especially when many of those you love and respect quietly give you the side-eye for pursuing what seems to be a far-fetched dream. I’m thankful to have always had a family that supports my very, *ahem* unique perspectives and pursuits in life, and I’m blessed to have a husband who’s my biggest fan and motivator. Still, it’s hard to pull both inspiration and creativity out of the ether and consistently be productive on the daily. Doubt is constantly on the sidelines, poking its nose in places where it shouldn’t be. Combating negativity and creating anything useful aren’t compatible activities, so some days can be pretty exhausting. But I keep on crawling towards that dream, ever hopeful that soon I will walk and eventually run as I grow stronger.

Last month, more readers showed genuine interest in my work than ever before, and it miraculously affected my bottom line. I’m sharing this because I know that many of you reading this blog understand the struggle between living your authentic life as a Creative and also being able to put food on the table for your family and yourself.

So often, I battle with the guilt of no longer working a so-called traditional job by “choice”. Believe me, I’ve definitely been led to do this; even I can’t yet explain why. It’s exhausting running my own business feeling as though I’m wearing blinders, but by Grace and by Faith, I am slowly learning to feel my way around. Mentors are popping up into my life in ways that I may not have expected, but humbly welcome. Last month, I was awarded a grant to attend the Northern Hearts Conference in Toronto, Canada with the Toronto Romance Writers chapter of the Romance Writers of America! Good things are coming, and as I continue to learn and grow, just as I promised when I first came to the decision to work for myself, I intend to continue to share my ups and downs with you as candidly as I can.

There is so much that I want to accomplish, and the desire is still so strong, it’s often overwhelming. As a woman of Faith, I am convinced that I’m following my calling, but it’s hard to hear it over the discouraging silence that often comes back when reaching out. That’s when I’m grateful to those encouraging souls who remind me that just because I’m not hearing an echo doesn’t mean that my message isn’t resonating with someone. So, I’ll continue to reach out, thankful to all of you as I continue to explore Love and Life, one word at a time.

Sending Love and Light to all of you.
Luck of the Irish, Holiday Heartbeats#3, is now available. The first chapter is available for free on Wattpad. Read it here.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

 

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– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, writing. She is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

When You Don’t Hit the Mark

Almost – But Not Quite

First of all, Happy June! It’s hard to believe that we’re already halfway through the year. (No pressure, calendar goal-setters.)

I went for some pretty big things last month – and two out of four times, I didn’t get what I wanted. Granted, on those two occasions where I didn’t get what I wanted, both times I was “close”. To me, being “close” is more aggravating than missing the thing by a long shot.

You’d think I’d be concentrating on the two awesome things that totally went right, but no. That’s not the way we humans are wired. Instead, I’ve kinda brushed off the two victories and moped around focused on the one thing out of the four that I sort of wasn’t sure I wanted in the first place (because it has nothing to do with writing) but went for it anyway… and almost got. It’s the “almost” part that I’m obsessing over.

It’s when you can see your target clear as day. You take a deep breath, aim and shoot – and you miss it by a quarter of an inch. You ask yourself why things went only slightly off-kilter. Was it something you did? Was it the wind? What happened in those last seconds before you let the arrow fly?

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Now, you’re at a crossroads. Yes, it feels quite comfortable to mope around for a little while, get some extra confirmation that the ones who “wronged” you are jerks and be reminded by the inevitable cockeyed-optimists that “Rejection is God’s protection”. (In that case, I’m incredibly sheltered, lol.) But what happens after that?

Set a Time Limit for Getting Over Rejection

As for me, I like setting timelines for my pity-parties. I can wallow and mope all I want for that set length of time, and then when that time is up, I can look at the situation from a more pragmatic perspective. After that, I reassess my goals, tweak my strategies, set my targets and go for them – again and again, and again. If I don’t use this method, I can imagine that it could become difficult to emerge from the self-pity cycle. So I don’t give it a chance to stay long.

I think this method worked perfectly for me when I was a performer, and at this stage in my life, I can already see how useful it’s going to be as I start approaching larger, more intimidating entities as I start asking for what I want. Sound crazy? Well, in a way, it is. But, if your goal is really what you want, you’ll do what it takes to get to it. The challenges are simply a means to an end.

What methods do you use to help you stay track towards achieving your goals? What do you do when you reach a setback that distracts you from appreciating the progress you’ve already made? I’d love to hear from you. (I’d also love some ice cream, so send some over. I already have a spoon in my pocket.)

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. She is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series. Follow her on Twitter for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

5 Ways to Revitalize Your Goals for Spring

Join my mailing list and be the first to know about my books slated for release in 2019, giveaways, fresh covers and more. Follow me on Amazon and Goodreads! Love Games (Holiday Heartbeats #2) is available wherever eBooks are sold

Recommit to Your New Year’s Goals

This may be a horrible thing to mention for those of you still battling winter super storms, but in all reality, spring is truly just around the corner! There are all kinds of signs regrowth here in California, and I for one am happy to see them. It also reminds me that spring is the perfect time for renewal.

Did you make any specific goals at the beginning of this year? If you have, March is the month to see where you are in terms of progress. The first quarter of the year is nearly over, and if you’re as goal-oriented as I am, you want to see a tangible ROI on the projects you’ve invested a lot of time, possibly money, definitely sweat, hard work, and a few tears.

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Here are five tips to help you put a fresh perspective on your goals:

  1. Pull out your old list of goals or resolutions from way back in 2018. Take your time with each item, and determine how much it still matters to you.
  2. Be sure to make a note of what you have accomplished. This one is important for overachievers like me, so I’ll take the time to repeat it: Be sure to make note of what you have accomplished. Have you met your goal 100%? If so, awesome! Go on and treat yourself to something, even if only a bit of praise. If you still have a way to go, make a note to remind yourself of the progress you’ve made so far.
  3. REWRITE YOUR LIST OF GOALS. This gives you a chance to reassess the moments where you may have been a bit too ambitious or had a self-limiting attitude that held you back more than you realized.
  4. Just because it’s not a new year on the calendar, it doesn’t mean that you can’t start fresh. Maybe something has happened in your life that made you rethink everything. honestly, this is the best time to make modifications in your goals – even if the major goal becomes simply making it, one day at a time. That’s already a lofty goal for most of us, by the way.
  5. Be kind to yourself. While it’s all well and good to be goal-oriented, it’s even better to be forgiving. Sometimes specific goals won’t be achieved. It’s an inevitable fact of life, and it’s important to remember that you’re constantly accomplishing things that you never even considered putting on your list. Seriously, you’re slaying on the daily, so be proud of your grind. If things aren’t quite working out, don’t give up on those goals, though. Search for modified versions of your goal, and pursue that route. Whatever you do, don’t give up from one moment to the next, unless you’ve truly left that goal behind you.

As for me, I’ve got a long and lofty list of goals, but I’m tearing them into somewhat manageable chunks. I have a lot of writing to do, so I’ll leave you to your own elephant!

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.