🙏I was pleasantly surprised and very humbled to learn that an article I wrote for Voyage Comics made Tito Edwards’ August list for the “Best in Catholic Blogging“.
🙏This writing journey started many years ago. Several times I felt like giving up. I am thankful that God has graced me with the ability to persevere and that he gave me the best friend and helper in my wife Jennifer.
🙏She deserves equal recognition of any of my successes.
Without her providing me time to write, proofreading my work, and keeping me motivated I would not be where I am.
🙏I am also thankful for the gift of St. Thomas Aquinas. His work was a particular inspiration for the article in the link below.
🙏Thank you Voyage Comics and Philip Kosloski for publishing my content on your amazingly fun and faithful website!
💡I highly recommend you visit Voyagecomics.com if you are a fan of fantasy, comics, and science fiction.
This article is for any parent who has an English, Literature, or writing degree, or simply a knack or wordsmithing, but you cannot seem to fit time to pursue your dream because you’re too exhausted from rocking your full-time job as an amazing mom or dad! Check out the article in the link below for incredibly simple ways to start writing now.
Mondays normally suck. This Monday is different. Today, I encountered the most confusing situations and the most livid of customers.
One word. Penultimate. Confused? Let me explain.
Penultimate—this amazing word means second to last.
Example: Today is my penultimate day working at my current job.
See today is my second to last day of working at my current job. One Wednesday I start an amazingly frightful and exhilarating journey of being a full-time freelance writer. This has been my dream since 2015.
Helen Keller wrote, “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.” Shifting your perspective allows you to overcome negativity. The entire day I kept my focus on the sun—the light of the Son Jesus Christ and also the sunlight of my new career opportunities.
Live with Purpose
In hindsight, this dream of being a writer probably began when I was a 1st grader. Collecting the complete series of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps I developed a deep love for reading. Reading opened up a love for storytelling for me. Every day since I was an elementary student I have at least 2 books in tote. Stories are a part of my life.
The seed for the love and passion for writing was planted over 2 decades ago. It will finally poke through the soil of time and work this Wednesday. No annoyance, irritation, confusion, or complex situation will lessen my gratitude and joy at this opportunity.
My Catholic faith motivates me and provides me stability during the storm. According to Jeremiah 1:5 God tells us, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” This verse is not merely a pious platitude. It reveals the truth about life. Life contains purpose. Life is not meaningless. Trust me. I endured the hell of losing a job I loved and the loss of several unborn children due to miscarriage. I was broken in 2015. Despair surrounded me. But the light of the Holy Spirit never left me. I almost allowed my suffering to kill me. Instead, I choose to let it define me.
God allowed me to suffer in order to open myself up to others. St. Ignatius of Loyola declared, “If God sends you many sufferings it is a sign that He has great plans for you, and certainly wants to make you a saint.” While I am not even close to being close to a saint, I am going to trust the great Jesuit’s wisdom. To embrace suffering allows you to unite closer with Jesus Christ. I will do anything to unite closer to Him. Losing the security of a full-time job to pursue my purpose freelancing is scary, but will allow me to cleave to God more. Depend on Him more. That makes any cross sent my way endurable today.
Along taking perspective and living with purpose, the third way the “worst” Monday ever failed to defeat me was because of my attitude of gratitude. The first customer I spoke with started cursing and yelling. It is easy to respond to fire with fire. A surety to keep even-keeled during the stress storm is thankfulness. Building a solid foundation of gratitude helped me withstand incendiary language.
According to G.K. Chesterton, “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” Nothing heightens your ability to sense the divine action in your life or unite yourself to fellow humans as gratitude. I made a focused effort to be thankful throughout the day. Every hour. Every minute. I thanked God for everything. The nice customers. The choleric customers. Thanksgiving acted as a buoyed at first and then later an iron to prevent any negativity from penetrating.
No matter what throws at you it will be overcome it when you prepared. Be grateful. Not just once. Not twice. Not even 2,000 times. Always be thankful. Shift your perspective on your destination. Don’t let the minor circumstances of one awful day throw your overboard in the ship of life. Live will purpose. No matter how terrible life get it is always worth living. Trust me. I survived. And I will survive the future storms.
According to Winston Churchill, “The maxim ‘Nothing but perfection’ may be spelled ‘paralysis’.” As a recovering (and struggling) perfectionist myself, the English statesman’s words definitely makes sense. Perfectionists demand absolute flawlessness in all activities. Since I have focused more on making time to developing content for this blog and on social media, I have learned an important lesson. Consistency matters. Consistency allows one to produce more content regularly and in a fairly short time.
How Does Perfectionism Cripple?
The perfectionist in me used to (and still does on occasion) deliberate slowly and painstakingly over the perfect introduction to a post. Was it interesting enough? Was there that perfect balance between simple and complex sentences? Did I achieve the absolute lowest possible percentage for passive voice? My pernickety thoughts went on and on.
Is there a perfect way to write an article? Maybe. I honestly don’t know for certain. What I do know is that perfection 100% is not possible. Certainly, you will have those stellar posts that are simply gems. Flawless. But ultimately tough to replicate. Instead aiming to achieve perfection always, focus on excellence and be okay with your occasional (and sometimes rare) visit to perfection. Excellence is consistent. It is stable.
Practice Makes Excellence
Aristotle made the connection between excellence and consistency. He wrote, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” The following article Excellence vs Perfection details out more key differences between the two. A link to this resource will be listed in the Resources section as the end of this post. One thing that stood out to me was the excellence tends to focus on both the goal and the journey to achieve that goal, whereas perfectionism looks solely at the end result. I have had to adjust my mindset from perfectionism to excellence. The journey involves the process of learning. Excellence learns from failure. Perfectionism tries to avoid mistakes.
Failure is the first attempt in learning. Be excellent. Strive to create first-rate content. Just remember it need not be perfect. Perfection stymies creativity and growth. Excellence nurtures creativity and daily growth.
Helen Keller wrote, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” As a recent Linked user and creative individual, teamwork and content creation has been on the forefront of my mind. My recent post 3 Reasons Why Containing Creativity is Impossible, mentions a bit on the importance of working together with others on a creative project. I wrote, “Whenever I feel my creativity spirit drying up I look to the creative individuals to reignite my creativity.”
Creativity cannot happen in a vacuum. Creating something involves a community. Children are born from the union of mother and father. Houses are built with many individuals. Book projects involve the collaboration of the author, proofreaders, editors, publicists, and marketing teams. This post will focus on three distinct ways creativity and collaboration must be partners.
Humans are Social Creatures
According to the Greek philosopher Aristotle, “Man is by nature a social animal.” Even further back in history, the Bible recognized the importance of communion. God created Eve to be a partner for Adam. Since the inception of humanity, people need others for help and support.
The dictionary defines creativity as “the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.” Every major advancement in human history occurred via the creative endeavor. Such endeavors rarely occur in isolation. A creative idea ultimately serves not only the originator, but the betterment of society as a whole.
Creativity Gets Multiplied Never Divided
Tennis legend Althea Gibson stated, “No matter what accomplishments you make, somebody helped you.” Creativity never loses momentum. Collaborating on an idea or invention does not reduce creativity. Collaboration enhances creativity. More minds working together multiplies creativity.
Seeing collaboration occur professionally on LinkedIn or in the domestic setting of the family unit is exciting. Henry Ford spoke of working together in this way, “”Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” The interactions between entrepreneurs and family members displays the multiplication of creativity. For instance, my oldest son just got into Pokémon (the inner geek in me is so proud!) “Avila can be the ground Pokémon and we can be the Pokémon Masters!” declared my older two kids as they plotted their latest fictional safari. Seeing the joy glint from their eyes truly warms my heart. Sibling success— for the moment!
Marketplace of Ideas
The late innovator and former Apple CEO Steve Jobs declared, “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something.” In a sense, great ideas are found instead of created. When asked about his legendary fiction world of Middle Earth, J.R.R. Tolkien shrugged off the idea of him being this creative genius. He merely “discovered” a world waiting to be found.
Collaboration and creativity create a marketplace of ideas. The information boom developed since the inception of the internet as not only made information more accessible to more people, but also allows more people to interact. Sharing information on social media is not only good, but essential moving forward. According to Bertrand Russell, “The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.” The age of ruthless competition is over. Collaboration connects humanity. Collaboration leads to more minds reflecting on the major issues we face as a human race. Creativity flows in that marketplace of ideas.
Start Collaborating Now!
Never be afraid to ask for help to jump-start your creativity. Creativity does not exist in a singular mind. Every creative endeavor requires the close partnership of collaboration. The social aspect of humanity, multiplication of imagination, and great opportunity to participate in the marketplace of ideas show the necessity for cooperation in the modern world and creating content.
I am blessed to live in this information and collaborative time in human history. I challenge you to reach out to someone this month and collaborate on a project: a blog post, an article, podcast, or video. Share your past collaborative endeavors in the comments. I would love you hear about the fruits and creativity born from your collaborations!
Wow! Time definitely flies. I cannot believe we are already halfway through 2019. I wanted to briefly touch base on my progress and future goals forThe Simple Catholicblog.
While I accomplished and learned many things this past year, more importantly I want to first thank you for all your support. Thank you for reading, sharing, visiting,commenting, or providing me advice over the past year! I cannot thank you enough. I am humbled by your support.🙏
Over the past year I have made steady progress—growingviewshipevery month since January. In June, I had over 2,000 views—including making the first page for Google for the long tail keyword phrase of “Corpus Christ feast day quotes.”
Along with my previous monthly contributions to EpicPew.com and serving as a Managing Editor for Catholicstand.com, I was graced with the opportunities to write/contribute to Voyage Comics and Catholic Exchange–both publications on my writing ✍️bucket-list.
Another major breakthrough for my blog was my ability and commitment to have guest posts from other talented Catholic writers. My goal for the second half of 2019 is to have at least one guest post published a week. If you are an established writer or beginning blogger please reach out to me. I would love to have a conversation about your goals as a writer and want to help you in any way I can.
Thank you again for your supporting The Simple Catholic blog! I am excited for the next six months and beyond. If you have any questions about Catholicism or comic books (I currently binge read at least 10 a week! 🙂) comment on a post or contact me on the Contact page. Hope you had a blessed 1st half of 2019 and I hope last half of the year treats you even better.