Stop Making Excuses

So dear fellow writers, creatives, and artists, I want to wake up this morning with a little kick in the behind.

Stop making excuses.

Say what?
You heard me right. Stop making excuses why you can not work on your creative projects, goals, and dreams. Stop that right now. Life is too short,  to waste another precious minute pondering upon the reasons why you can not follow through
The list of potential excuses are not going to get any shorter, just because you waited a month, a year, a decade to follow through. So stop, and do whatever it takes –  right now.

I am being hard on you here because I know how debilitating those excuses can be. I lived and breathed excuses. I would blame everyone and everything for why I do not have time, from lack of sleep to lack of resources, to not being good enough, or not having the right connections.

Guess what, if you do not do any of the steps needed to make your dream come true, you still will not have all of those things, and in addition to that, you will have a mediocre life at best. Do you really want that?
I did not think so.

So, say it with me, one more time.

Stop making excuses.

Start by asking questions. How about asking others for resources, or how they did it? How about getting your head away from that tv show and watch a youtube video on how others in your field made it? You will find, that many creatives do not mind sharing their “secrets”, which are no secrets through many platforms. Learn and then do.

I am rooting for you.

 

Blessings!

Claudia

P.S. Are you ready to take action? Then follow me to the free learning network Wealthy Affiliate right now!

Anger And Gratitude

the anger behind
that sweet smile you always show
is reserved for me

Domestic abuse – a reality many women – and men – experience in their relationship. The fear of those who supposed to be caring for us, making our homes a nightmare, instead of a safe haven is real, and never the fault of the abused.

Why am I choosing to write about domestic violence in a blog post that usually features “Celebrate The Small Things” and “Thankful Thursday”? Because I am thankful to be one of those women who do not have to live in fear, but I am also aware that this puts me in the situation to choose to ignore the plight of others, or do something about it.

While donating to organisations that assist domestic violence victims might not seem a lot, it is something many of us who live a comfortable and safe life can do. Just because we do not experience this type of environment, does not mean we can let ourselves be numb to those who suffer.

Anger And Gratitude

But, I am going to add this for my most eager readers, you should NEVER get directly involved. Domestic violence perpetrators are violent and dangerous, making anyone in their way a target just as much as the actual target they desire. If you suspect anyone you know being abused, or know that they are in need of help, look for local resources they can contact, or call them yourself, and ask them what actions they suggest for the abused to take. Those professionals are trained to assist victims and keep them safe, something that you and I are not.

If you are looking for organisations that help battered spouses, check out the following links:

Women helping battered women
 National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
 Leaving Abuse

This blog post is a part of the following blog hops:

Thankful Thursdays

Celebrate The Small Things

Thankful Thursday (Pepi Smart Dog)

Reasons to be Cheerful

Reflect

 

The above art piece “Anger” is available on RedBubble, and I am donating 20 % of profits of this digital art piece to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Thank you for your support.

 

Taking Chances – A Celebrate The Small Things Blog Post

 

Welcome to my weekly Gratitude post – part of Lexa Cain’s “Celebrate The Small Things” blog hop. Why not join us?

Taking chances takes courage. Sometimes it takes moving outside of one’s comfort zone, putting yourself out there, no matter what, even if it means whatever the endeavour it can fail.

I have been wanting to create a design and lifestyle blog for a while. This week I am celebrating my first post upon it. Does it mean that it will succeed? I don’t know, but at least I can try.

Trying new things, and following through on a commitment also takes courage. I celebrate my children’s decision to eat differently, ethically. My daughter is vegan, my son turned vegetarian a few months ago. Both of these choices take commitment and conviction. I am proud of their consciousness of how to live a more positive life.

I celebrate the beginning of September, which always means to me to switch gears toward the Fall and Winter seasons. Even though I love heat, I love the colors and energy of Autumn, and even though this year, I will not be seeing much of that in person (Las Vegas is not known for the foliage, lol), I am emerging myself into the design and creativity that this season brings with it.

What are you celebrating this week? Have you accomplished something that you want to share? Join the blog hop here! 

Blessings

Claudia
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Stop That Re-Pin! 4 Things You Should Consider Before Hitting That Pin Button

4 Things You Should Consider Before Hitting That Re-pin Button

Whether you are a Print On Demand Artist, a writer or have your own business, the power of owning a Pinterest Business Account is great and should be utilized to its fullest potential by everyone. But because it is easy to fall into the trap of spamming your followers, you have to have a certain level of other pins on your boards that are not advertising your products or services. One of many ways to so is to repin what other people have posted.

Cute dresses from LuLu*s!!!

However, repinning a great infographic without too much thought can be counter-productive. Here are four points you should consider when repinning content to your Pinterest business account (or any Pinterest account):

1. Read the comments to the pin thoroughly. Just because the information is great, does not mean that the pinner’s thoughts on the subject matter fit your needs, the needs of your audience, or are views you want to convey. Better yet, change the description of the pin completely, and include your own information on it.

2. Check the link. A great graphic or image does not make a great re-pin. Make sure the pin does not lead to some questionable content or is a dead link.

3. Get rid off hashtags. While hashtags are wonderful for facebook, twitter, Instagram and a host of other places, Pinterest is not one of them. Get rid of all the cluttering hashtags before re-pinning the pin.

4. Keep your followers in mind. Consider if the majority of your followers of this board would benefit from the content you are about to re-pin. If it is only of  interest to you or is only re-pinned to not look spammy, don’t bother. Every pin you share should have a purpose and bring value to your followers. No exceptions.

Happy re-pinning!

Claudia

P.S. Check out my free Editorial Calender And Marketing Planner – read about it, and download it here! 

 

Wanelo For Print-On-Demand (POD) Creators

Four quick tips on how to make the most out of Wanelo-.jpg

This post may contain affiliate links – see disclosure page for details

POD Tips - Marketing on Wanelo

If you are a print-on-demand creator on Zazzle, RedBubble, Society 6 and the like, you should utilize Wanelo to market your products.
Wanelo stands for “want – need – love” and is simplistically stated a version of Pinterest that specializes purely in sales. so for any e-commerce business that focuses on clothing, shoes, jewelry, handmade items or home decor, this is the place to be.

You can create boards, similar to Pinterest, but your products are not competing with infographics and other non-product related pins,  follow other people, share your own products and those of others (but not as an affiliate, more about that later), and create “stories” around your products.

Stories are not as fancy as they sound, there are more a commentary or thought you have about a group of your products, which you attach to your written words, and you created somewhat of a collection (see an example in the image above).

As you can see, this platform makes it easy for you to get directly in front of consumers, even though the main customer base is still a younger crowd – which is most likely to expand over time, as it has with many social media platforms. The downfall to the younger age of the people on Wanelo is that they tend to not have as much money they can spend freely  while at the same time this demographic does make more impulse purchases, than an older crowd would.

What Wanelo is not, is a way to make money as an affiliate. They do not allow the affiliate links because that is how they make their money. Every time you post something they get a commission, which is only fair for creating the site, but a downfall for anyone who seeks to make an affiliate income. We have to look for revenue elsewhere.

Four quick tips on how to make the most out of Wanelo:

1. Post often – Top Contributors get featured, and that means you have to post a large volume of content to take advantage of that aspect. Do not just share your own things, create boards for other items as well that might be related but do not compete with your product line. That way you are not limited to posting only the amount of items you have created.

2. Be active – interact with other contributors, just like you would, to gain followers on other social media platforms. Comment on other people’s posts, share their stuff, and follow others.

3. Connect with people that buy in your niche – the best way to do that is to check out your competitors and follow their followers. Those are people who have already saved items that are similar to yours, so you know they are interested in your types of products. Many will follow you back, and you will relatively quickly grow a following of niche-related people.

4. Use hashtags – you can add up to five hashtags to each of your products. Use all of them, and use them wisely. Hashtags make it easier for your products to be found, just like it makes it easier for your content to be found on twitter. Because you are limited to five, you should be very careful about which ones you use.

That’s it for now. I will be posting more tips on how to get noticed as a POD artist.

Find out more about marketing for artists here

Blessings and happy creating!

Claudia

Losing Fear

Digital Print - Lose Your Fears

“Lose Your Fears” Digital Print Copyright Claudia H. Blanton 2015

To live a creative life
we must lose our fear
of being wrong
j.c. pierce

What are you afraid of most? As artists and creatives, we often explore our own fears, as well as those of our audience, pushing it further than most, beyond that barrier that keeps others from taking action.
Being a creative person is playing at the edge of fear, pushing ourselves, even if we take the chance of being wrong, the chance of not reaching the desired outcome, the desired emotional connection. It takes bravery to be a creative person, an artist, and author.
Embrace your fears, and overcome them.

If you enjoyed this blog post, why not share it with your friends or leave a comment. Thank you.

Book Review: The Freemind Experience by Tom Fortes Mayer

Book Review: The Freemind Experience
Title: The Freemind Experience
Author: Tom Fortes Meyer
Publisher: Watkins Publishing
Release Date: Feb. 17th, 2015
Rating: 3/5 Stars
“If you live for truth and love, you will be provided for” – The Freemind Experience
There are many self-help books that promise a sure-fire way to create happiness and contentment in your life. The premise of this book is in that case no different.
Written in a conversational style, this book did not create a different experience for me, than the masses that already overflow the genre of self-help books in their various forms. In order to stand out, an Author has to deliver something either new, or in such an interesting style that it gets the reader’s attention from the beginning, while this book only produces a smile and a yawn, as the Author shares through many – and not very interesting stories –  how he teaches his clients and himself to become a better version of himself.
Instead of creating happiness and contentment, I was left with the feeling of having lost precious time, I could have used in a more productive way, then reading this book. If you are looking for a high quality, and informational wake up call, to serve the reader to better understand oneself and to grow through that experience, you are better off reading a different book of this genre. There are many of them out there, this is not one of them.
(disclaimer: I have been given an advanced copy of this book, by the publisher in return for an honest review, via NetGalley)

Forgive Me – A Poem

break-the-chains

I wish I could give
you the trust you deserve, but
echoes of the past

have a hold on my
heart, chains not yet broken by
the warmth of your love

Copyright Claudia H. Blanton 2015

Making Peace With Myself – A Poem

Vunerable by Marlies Odenhal

Vulnerable by Marlies Odenhal

I used to hate you
that part of me, weak, exposed
like an open nerve

raw, vulnerable, in pain
disgusted by the torture
linked to twisted acts

of a sad, sick mind
but in the healing love of
another, I found

 peace