Monday, May 16, 2016
Sunday, April 24, 2016
The following is a portion of "Five Music Lessons for Writers" by author and singer Louise Marley. I have been reading her books for awhile and recently looked up her site. Very good stuff for all creative people.
Rejection is part of artistic life, whether it’s a part in an opera that you audition for but don’t win, a painting you’re proud of but nobody buys, or a short story coming back in the mail three days after you mailed it out. The fine YA writer Patricia Hermes begins her talks at conventions by proudly unrolling a room-wide strip of paper made by taping together hundreds and hundreds of her rejection letters! She says the only reason she doesn’t have more is that now her agent gets them–and keeps them.
Rejection hurts. It devastates. You doubt your talent, you doubt your luck, you doubt your material. You think of quitting, you threaten to change careers. Then, despite all of it, your discipline puts you back in your chair before your open manuscript.
My college voice students are disappointed to discover that when they walk out the door of their school a bachelor’s degree in their hand they don’t walk right into the nearest opera company to begin their careers. Some are discouraged when they learn that artistic studies never end. And it is often the case that the singers who make successes are not the ones with the best voices or the greatest talent . . . they are simply the ones who never give up.
Yup, it’s tough. I once asked a voice teacher for some assurance that my lengthy study would pay off, and she told me, “If you can do something else, go do it.” She wasn’t being cruel; she was saying there are no guarantees, no promises. She went on to say that the work itself has to be its own reward; if there’s some other work that will give you the same satisfaction, you had better find it.
But perseverance does pay off. I’ve seen it happen over and over in my students, I’ve been much blessed by having it pay off in my own life, and I see it succeeding all around me. If this is the work that makes you happy, that gives you joy, then stick to it. Try everything. Live like an artist. And I wish you all the best in your pursuit of the artistic life . . . in whatever discipline you choose to follow.
Copyright © 1998, Louise Marley. For more on Louise Marley, her books, and music, go to http://www.LouiseMarley.com
Sunday, March 20, 2016
Sunday, February 07, 2016
Everyone reading this has a creative dream, or if they don't call it a dream it's at least an artistic goal. So if we want to take Walt's words above to heart, let's see if the four C's can help us in our quest to get somewhere with our creative passions.
I think this manifests in how we seek out information about what we want to do. Are we actively surfing looking for information about our craft? Are we trying to network and find new people to talk to about how to get better?
"Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.” ― Richard Feynman
Those who succeed are simply those who worked harder to get all the knowledge they could find on what they wanted to know about, then made an informed decision in how to proceed. This goes for creative endeavors as well.
“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
Creativity is one of the things that can get beat out of us as we go through school, and into the workforce. We lose our confidence because we are not encouraged to create freely. The people who are not creative prefer if you are not also si it doesn't threaten their little world.
Be confident in your abilities, and work hard to get better at what you do creatively. Wake up every day and repeat your goals and dreams to yourself. Have faith that God put them in you for a reason, and you will confidently go after them daily!
Getting the courage up to sing a song, show off a painting, or blog your opinions can be difficult. But if you don't make the effort, then the work you've done creating is all for naught.
It's not about being fearless, but knowing that taking the step out to share your God-given talents is why He put you here in the first place. Sometimes it takes leaving what is familiar and safe to really see how you will succeed as a creative.
“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.” ― William Faulkner
I know Walt said the greatest of these is confidence, but I believe very strongly that consistently working on your craft is the best way to become better. This may sound kind of silly, as common sense would dictate the more you do something, the better you become. But you'd be surprised how hard it is to actually be consistent! You'd be surprised how many people start something and never finish. You'd be surprised how many never even start!
Sometimes I feel like the reason for my success is rooted in the fact that I just stayed with it. I didn't quit, and I was more consistent in what I do than others who would like to do the same thing.
"In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It's not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently." - Tony Robbins
There you go, 4 C's from my creative mentor Walt Disney. I hope they help you be successful as they have me!
Have a great week!
Eric Copeland loves Disney, that much is true, but his goal is for everyone to be able to explore and find success with their creative talents. For the Creative Soul is a service of Creative Soul, a consulting, production, and marketing company for Christian ministries, If you'd like to learn more go to http://www.CreativeSoulOnline.com
Thursday, December 31, 2015
But despite these lamentations, every New Year gives us the opportunity to start afresh. A clean slate.
“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.” - Melody Beattie
Goal setting is not that interesting to most of us. In fact, it’s boring and sometimes even useless. But usually that’s because we set too many goals or parameters.
Just One Big Goal
This year, how about one big goal? How about that ONE thing that you want to get going this year? That ONE thing you’ve been waiting to do, but life finds a way to stop you from doing.
Maybe it’s a recording of your music, maybe it’s finishing that book, maybe it’s some other creative passion. I know from experience that those things will only get started and done if you move them to the front and center of your life.
Whatever it is, there’s been something holding you back. This year make it your big goal to find a way through the roadblocks, which are usually two or three big ones.
“I think money is a wonderful thing because it enables you to do things. It enables you to invest in ideas that don't have a short-term payback.” - Steve Jobs
To do larger projects, especially if you are creating a film or a recording project, there is most likely a cost that is beyond your reach. This can be a huge stumbling block. There’s seldom that kind of free money sitting around and, with so many people wanting to do these kinds of things, it’s hard to find companies to foot the bill. So what to do?
Well, like any business, it takes capital to start. And yes, I am calling becoming a recording artist, movie director, or any other fulltime artistic career a small business.
So where does any capital come from? Well, we either raise it, finance it, or save up for it. You see people all the time raising money on Kickstarter or some other funding site. Businesses start with small business loans all the time, providing they have a strong business plan or a partner who believes in them. And yes, dear reader, there is always just working more or longer and saving it up.
When I did a poll last year (which I will repeat again below), the two main answers to what holds you back from your creative dreams were Money and Time.
Most of us could afford to do the thing we most want to do, but we don’t prioritize our time correctly in order to achieve it. We watch TV, or say yes to too many things other than the one thing we want to do most in the world. Often we’re so busy making sure we are doing everything everyone wants, we forget to make sure we do the thing we know we should be doing.
“The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” - Stephen Covey
Many people we work with in music come to Nashville because they are completely isolated where they are. Even if there is someone to work with, their choices in studio, gear, engineer, musicians, and then marketing are very limited.
Maybe it’s time for you to look beyond your little corner of the world. No matter how much you may love your local team, you may actually be stunting your and their growth by just doing the same thing over and over where you are.
“Location is all about the efficiency of work for me.” - Michelle Grabner
Sometimes just going where the top pros are in your specific genre or profession can be a huge difference on getting to the next plateau in your art.
So this year, make it your goal to finally get to the dream. Break through the things that have been blocking you, and get to the life God has had for you all along.
Have a great year!!
Eric Copeland is president of Creative Soul Records and helps creative artists every single day get on track, make the project of their dreams, and get it out to the world. We’re looking for NEW ARTISTS to bring through our unique program for 2016! If you’d like more information, go to CreativeSoulRecords.com
So, what is holding YOU back from your creative dreams? Take the Quick Poll here >
More blog posts on this topic:
This is the Year
No Resolutions, Just Resolute!
You Can Get There From Here
Monday, August 10, 2015
Every day I meet creative Christians looking to figure out a path to making things work. They are looking for the answers to how to be successful with their talent, when others can’t find the secret recipe and just give it up.
It’s a long road for those of us who want to live out our creative life, and to get through it, I think you need five things.
“There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.” – Napoleon Hill
One of the first things we have to know is the why. Sure, you know you want to sing, or paint, or dance, but why is it important? Just to make yourself feel good? That’s not a wrong answer. To please God who gave you the talent? Also a completely valid purpose.
As Christians, we sometimes want to use our talents to bring people to Christ, or set a good example. But just so you know, this isn’t mandatory. For some reason, we are told if we don’t use our gifts only for God’s glory they are wasted. I’m not sure He requires this. We can do a lot for the kingdom with our spirit, words, teaching, and other things that our creativity opens the doors to.
Of the five things here, this may be the most important. If you’ve lost it, it’s imperative to get it back. It’s the one thing we can’t teach people or make them do.
Only you can have the passion for this. The fire in the belly that make you get up early, stay up late, and work harder at your craft than anyone else.
“Passion is one great force that unleashes creativity, because if you're passionate about something, then you're more willing to take risks.” – Yo-Yo Ma
The power of positive is an important part of lasting as a creative throughout your life. If you don’t believe things are going to work out and that you can be successful, well you likely won’t.
“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” – Helen Keller
I am successful because I believe I will be. It seems silly, but it helps.
These last two go hand in hand. I talk a lot about not quitting. The creative people I know that have success are the ones who keep evolving. They keep learning and are insatiable about getting better and finding new ways to do things. They will not take no for an answer for long, and always want the next level of quality.
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” – Calvin Coolidge
Well, if you’ve read this far, you already have this. You wait, and watch. You stand pat while others fold. You keep doing what you do as others quit and look for greener pastures.
I’ve said many times, the reason I have become successful is that I have stayed with it as the years go by. Many times I get work just because people ask if I am still doing it.
You may be an artist and just by staying an artist get called for an opportunity because someone remembered a previous show. You may be a writer and get a gig writing because you have kept your stuff out there in front of people.
Any of these five things mark the difference between people who had some talent but never did anything with it, and the creative person who lives a full life happily creating.
“What helps luck is a habit of watching for opportunities, of having a patient but restless mind, of sacrificing one's ease or vanity, or uniting a love of detail to foresight, and of passing through hard times bravely and cheerfully.” – Victor Cherbuliez
Have a great week!
Eric Copeland is a producer, composer, and author mainly because he still is. He works hard at all five of these to succeed as a full time creative person. If you’d like to talk more about your creative life, contact us here.
If you are a Christian music artist or songwriter and would like to find more success, come talk to us at CreativeSoulOnline.com
Monday, June 29, 2015
About the Author
- Eric Copeland
- Eric Copeland is an author, producer, keyboardist, songwriter, and president of Creative Soul Companies. What is Creative Soul? Our main goals are to inform, encourage, and assist Christian creative folks in ministry, no matter where they are in their journey. Thanks for reading! Find out more about us at http://www.CreativeSoulOnline.com