Creative Living

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Making Space in Your Life for New Opportunities

We’ve all heard the saying, “when one door closes, another one opens,” but for the longest time I supposed I unknowingly carried a more passive attitude in regards to that.

When I would think about that mantra, it seemed in my mind to suggest that I should be patient in waiting for that right opportunity to come along. I’m a firm believer in everything happens for a reason, but did that mean I’m supposed to wait around? Having a career as an actor and screenwriting is mostly about waiting anyways, so it’s nothing I wasn’t used to. However, recently something clicked for me and made me realize that it’s not just a waiting game. Patience is a virtue, but being passive can detrimental.

For about two years I was with an agency that I knew I needed to move on from. Just a few months ago, I kept telling myself, “Okay, as soon as a great new opportunity comes along with a different agency, I will promptly move on from them.” I thought that was the smart thing to do, trying to play my cards right. If I left my old agency, what else would I be stuck with? Nothing?

Just recently one morning I got up, grabbed my phone, called my agency, and asked what I needed to do to terminate my contract with them.  I had reached a boiling point of not being where I wanted to be and waiting around for a new opportunity could’ve taken who knows how long! I literally sat at my kitchen table and said a quick little prayer that a new door would open for me because in that moment I definitely felt like there wasn’t much to go off of. Then I opened my laptop to get to work and just let it go. I took a proactive step in a new direction and hoped the rest would fall into place.

TWO HOURS LATER I received an email from an agent I had never heard of and never submitted myself to in my life. He told me he wanted to meet with me in person to discuss representation. WHAT!? How insane is that? Not only to have this new opportunity, but to have an agent who is going after me, not the other way around (and trust me you don’t want to see the number of emails I’ve sent over the years to agents asking for two minutes of their time to meet me). I was so pleasantly surprised. I didn’t have to chase this guy down and beg for a meeting. He sought me. What a change of pace.

I couldn’t have received a bigger affirmation that when we MAKE SPACE for new opportunities in our lives, doors will open and creative opportunities will fall into our laps.

But that’s the thing, they don’t just arrive because we’ve been patiently waiting twiddling our thumbs. Those opportunities are pulled our direction because we have that beautiful combination of actively taking steps towards our future while (still rather patiently) waiting for the seeds of opportunity that we’ve planted to bloom.

Sometimes it’s not always about playing your cards right. Sometimes it’s about taking a risk, taking action, and keeping the faith that something will come along.

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Interview with Voyage LA Mag #TrailBlazers

A few weeks ago I had the honor of being interviewed by Voyage LA Mag as part of their #ValleyTrailblazers series. I was so excited when they reached out to me for the opportunity to tell part of my story, my goals, and my inspiration. When they told me that their goal is to help hard-working, inspiring people tell their stories authentically and in their own words, I said count me in! Below is the article published on their website. Give it a read and let me know what you think!

Today we’d like to introduce you to Samantha Skelton.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.

I’m an LA native – born and raised! I’ve come to realize how rare that is with the industry that I’m in. Aside from running this blog, I’m also an actor and screenwriter.

I had wanted to start a blog for the longest time, but just never had time in college. I majored in Screenwriting at California State University, Northridge. College was an amazing experience for me and taught me so much. As soon as I graduated, I pursued everything I’m passionate about with full speed. That meant acting, screenwriting, and starting my blog.

I finally landed on The Constant Creative because I feel like that’s how much of my life is. I’m constantly doing something– writing a new script, collaborating with others to create short films, diving into new books, always pushing myself in some new direction, and for the longest time, I also had an Etsy shop.

Has it been a smooth road?

I’ve always had that entrepreneurial spirit about me — I made a powerpoint presentation when I was 8 years old for my parents about why I should be allowed to go around to my neighbors selling Christmas stationary! So, I think I was bound to embark on other ventures like this someday, ha!

But, of course, nothing is ever easy. I’m constantly learning new things, always evolving. I don’t think I will ever stop learning in any area.

When I started my blog, it was in conjunction with my Etsy shop. I had an Etsy shop since 2013 where I sold handmade typewriter quote cards and I really thought creating my own website/blog would help business for my Etsy shop. Eventually, I learned that I was being pulled in too many directions, and if I had to pick… my energy was better spent on the things I’m most passionate about. This year, I closed my Etsy shop to focus on my acting but I still love having my blog. It’s a great way to connect with other like-minded women, meet new people, and learn new things.

My advice for other young women that want to start their own blog or business, or maybe who are hesitating to go after something they want is just to START. Just begin. The only way you will know if something is right for you or not is to try it out. It’s not the end of the world if you go in another direction. Also, don’t be so hard on yourself. As long as you’re taking action somehow, you’re forward moving.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into The Constant Creative story. Tell us more about the business.

I started The Constant Creative to ignite a fire in people and leave them feeling more inspired than when I found them. I also started it to connect with other creative people in the online community. We all leave a legacy, whether it’s on the big screen or tucked away on the internet through a little blog. I truly love that one is not more significant than the other.

For good reason, society often focuses more on the problems rather than the opportunities that exist, because the problems need to be solved. However, we’d probably also benefit from looking for and recognizing the opportunities that women are better positioned to capitalize on. Have you discovered such opportunities?

Something I talked about on my Instagram recently was the idea of an abundance mindset vs. a scarcity mindset. I think so often women are viewed as being standoff-ish towards other women or the media pits women against each other. I see so much opportunity for women to share the wisdom they’ve learned so far and then collaborate to make something great. Everything is not a competition.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Laci Havens Photography

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Acting in my First Feature Film

I’ve been a little MIA these past few weeks and haven’t been keeping up with my blog or Instagram as much as I should. I’m still here! But this week I’m writing all about why I’ve been a little MIA…filming my first movie!

What an experience this has been! I can’t even begin to explain it. It’s crazy to think back on the countless auditions where I wanted a role SO bad and would spend days thinking about it. And this time, the opposite happened. I did the audition and that week just so happened to be a crazy hectic week. I left the audition and didn’t even think about it. I let it all go and decided it was out of my control. The next day they asked me to come back for a callback! After the callback, they called me the next morning to tell me I got the part and from there on out has been an absolute whirlwind.

Expectations & Predictions

Leading up to filming, anything and everything was running through my mind. I journaled about a lot of this because I was SO excited but also completely overwhelmed. My character is one of the main characters along with two other women and we are in almost every single scene of the film, except for a few flashbacks. How was I supposed to memorize an entire feature length script by day 1?! We also got the script in full one week before filming, All I had ever done were scenes for auditions or acting class. What will the other actors be like?! How will I balance my day job/time off?! Will I be any good? Haha. I mean the questions were endless. Like anything else in life, I had to tell myself to stop worrying or playing the what-if game and just focus on doing my job really well.

Set Life

The saying “hurry up and wait” truly came into play on this film. I experienced first hand what it’s like to arrive on set at 7am and begin hair and makeup, be done with that by 9am, and wait around to film until 12 or 1pm. Not everyday was like this, but it’s something I hadn’t quite gone through before. This movie filmed in LA so I was lucky to go home at the end of every day. But. you really have to work at keeping your energy up while waiting to film and sometimes that can be challenging. One day we only got one scene in before lunch. After lunch all I wanted to do was take a nap but we had to push through and get that energy up again.

I also knew the days would be long, usually 10-12 hour days, but our last day the cast and crew agreed to push through and we did a 20 hour day! That was insane. I’m so thankful that everyone on our crew was professional, friendly, and hard working. Everyone from sound, to camera, to the MUA.

Getting into Character

One of the most exciting things for me was putting all the preparation and character work I had done leading up to the film into action. As they would call us to set each day, sitting there under the lights, going over my “prior instant” as my character, right before they would call action, I just LOVED that feeling. Getting to feel like I’m my character and delving completely into this other world made me feel like I’m exactly where I’m meant to be. I love exploring people, their motivations, what makes them who they are, etc. Doing this film only made me more excited to get to dive into other characters in the future.

What I learned / Advice (to my future self, too)

There are so many takeaways from this film, probably too many to list, but I thought I would list a few!

  • Show up prepared.I always feel better when I know that I’ve prepared as much as I can. My acting teacher told me that Meryl Streep shows up to the table read completely memorized and ready to go. That is dedication!
  • It’s okay to ask the Director if you need something.There were times when myself and the other actors felt that we would be able to focus more on our performances and just beour characters if we didn’t have to wing the blocking. We asked to go over the blocking of scenes a few times and that made the world of difference. Sometimes I think the Directors have so much on their plate, it’s okay to ask for things.
  • Be confident in your choices.One day I had a scene with a wonderful actor, Tom Schanley, and it was apparent that he was a seasoned, professional, and wonderful actor to be around from the moment he walked on the set. He really taught me to be confident in the choices I make as an actor. He was 100% confident in his choices and took control of the scene/his character (in the best way, not overpowering).
  • Bring your own snacks!And stay hydrated. Ha, I’m kind of joking but also kind of serious. The crew was so nice and always had great snacks on hand, but it’s nice to have a few snacks on hand you know you love. And staying hydrated and drinking a ton of water was probably the key to me not getting any headaches during the shoot.
  • Be nice and kind to everyone.This isn’t something I necessarily had to learn because I believe that’s how I was raised to begin with, but being on this shoot was a definitely a nice reminder that people take notice. I know that I take notice when people are rude to others or bring a lot of drama and you never know who is about to recommend you to someone else for your next job. I made a great connection on this shoot through the makeup artist and that was such a lovely surprise that I never saw coming.
  • It’s okay to take time for yourself on set.Being on set for long hours, surrounded by people 24/7 can sometimes be a lot. If you’re part introvert like me, it’s okay to chill out in another room or outside for a few minutes to gather that energy back. It doesn’t mean you’re anti-social, you’re just decompressing for a few. Then when you’re preparing for the next scene again, you feel much better!

 

All in all this was such a great learning experience and I will cherish everything from this production. I know I will always continue to learn from every production I’m a part of and I can’t wait to see where this journey will lead me to next.

I’ll definitely keep everyone posted on more details about this feature film when I can!

Thanks for following along!

 

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What To do When Doubt Creeps In

When in doubt, don’t stop.

A Realization

I usually start my days by journaling morning pages (lately it’s seemed like I have no time!) but I also keep other journals about life milestones or specific journeys I’m on. I have two journals, one for Screenwriting and one for Acting that I like to write in every now and then documenting big goals I’ve accomplished in those areas, breakthroughs, things I’ve learned along the way, etc. and I recently started flipping through my acting journal. It’s crazy to read everything I’ve written in there since 2014! I wasn’t pursuing it as seriously as I am now but even then it’s so funny to read my thoughts back then.

I read the Jenna Fischer book The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide a couple months ago and ever since then it clicked in my mind just how long the actor’s journey can be. I think the same goes for any creative industry though. It can take years and years and years of hard work and breaks to finally “make it.” I had this funny feeling happen recently. I told myself that there was no other option right now but to go after my dreams wholeheartedly and with so much hustle. I don’t recommend the days where it feels so exhausting you might need 10 cups of coffee to finish the day BUT it certainly felt forward moving.

Hustle Hard, Hustle with a Purpose

Why else do we hustle and work so hard for something non-stop other than for the idea that we will get a break one day to get to do something we love? I think “breaks” come in all shapes and sizes but it’s that feeling of: okay this is all for something bigger and this is a stepping stone.

But recently I booked a part that I wanted SO bad and I was so happy, so excited, so ready to take on this challenge and yet…doubt creeped in.

“Doubt is a signal of the creative process. It is a signal that you are doing something right—not that you are doing something wrong or crazy or stupid. The sickening chasm of fear that doubt triggers to yawn open beneath you is not a huge abyss into which you are going to tumble, spiraling downward like you are falling through the circles of hell. No, doubt is most often a signal you are doing something and doing it right.” – Julia Cameron, The Artists Way

That reminder is probably the biggest gift any of creatives can give ourselves. A reminder to recognize the doubt and then keep plowing through to the other side, because on that other side is a wonderful experience that could very much change our life in both big and small ways.

“For an artist, the first doubt is like the first drink for a sober alcoholic: We cannot afford to romance it. The first doubt leads to the second. The second leads to the third, and in no time you are staggering , hurting yourself on the sharp edges of the furniture…When doubt moves at an artist, the artist must learn how to step aside and let the charge pass by.”

Whatever you’re hustling towards and whatever opportunity has landed in your lap, don’t let doubt deter your confidence or your passion. We can do this. When in doubt, don’t stop.

 

What’s something you’ve been doubting lately that you could use a little encouragement with?

1-minute short film
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What I Learned from Making a 1-Minute Short Film

Last year, I wrote, produced, and acted in a 1-minute short film alongside some talented filmmaker friends of mine. We came across a 60-second film contest put on by Moet and immediately hit the ground running with this idea. The challenge was to create a short film around the theme “this is your moment.” It was one of the most amazing experiences to date!

First and foremost I learned that a great idea, even a 1-minute idea, takes time and effort to become a clear, succinct story. My friend and director of the film, Jonathan Coria, met with me one evening and we hashed out a vague idea I had. A few hours later, we turned that vague idea into a short (very short) story with an arc and inspirational ending. One thing I learned was that no matter how “small” a project may be, it still requires a lot of time and effort. Treat your shorts like they’re a feature. Comb through the vague ideas until they’re specific. Even though there were no words in this script, I went over it multiple times to make it the best it can be. I’m a firm believer in setting the script aside for a day or two and coming back to it with fresh eyes, so I did exactly that before locking everything in.

Our short, Shoot for the Stars, follows our main character Jane as she dreams of what it would be like to turn her idea into a film. We follow her through daydreams of casting, directing, editing, and finally back to the epiphany that started it all. This is her moment.

The film was set in a single location which certainly made it easier considering we only had 60 seconds. We were lucky enough to be able to use a vacant town home that was open for a few more days before tenants moved in. That was a huge weight off our shoulders not having to worry about renting a location space. Especially with a short film like this we had practically no budget, so I tried to be resourceful as possible in making this happen.

I’m grateful for this experience because I underestimated before-hand how much time it took to set up all the props up, how much stuff (props, equipment, etc.) we loaded into the town home, and how long it would take to film. We were ambitious in how we went about the shots, but that also led to more time-consuming set ups. Watching our director and DP work together taught me so much about camera, lenses, and the rigs they set up to get the shots we wanted. I learned to ask questions now because there’s no better time than to ask your friends on a short film where everyone is still learning.

All-in-all our 60 second short film took 12 hours to film. 12 hours of getting the choreography of the camera with the actors right, getting the lighting perfect, and getting the shots that blended into one another just right. 12 hours of working with an amazing crew that made this shoot so fun and rewarding.

Although we didn’t win the Moet contest, I wouldn’t have changed this experience at all!

Here are some of my personal key takeaways:

  • I learned that collaboration is key.
  • I learned to overestimate how long it will take to film.
  • I learned that it’s the small details that matter. Days before the production we were making sure we had the small props that mattered and we stayed up late the night before adding in the last minute details we thought would matter on-camera.
  • I learned that sometimes when you’re funding your own dreams you have to wear all the hats, and that’s perfectly okay.
  • I learned that there are so many wonderful people that lend their time and talents to make films happen. We couldn’t have made this without the people who volunteered to make this 1 minute short happen.
  • I learned that being thorough in development, all the way through to post production can make you stand out. I know we did the very best we could and we were devoted to this creative idea.
  • I learned that winning or losing a contest doesn’t not put a value on our worth and our talent.
  • I learned that coffee is a necessity (actually, I’ve always known that let’s be honest).
  • I learned that this was just a stepping stone in our careers and if making a 60-second short film was this exhilarating and rewarding, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for our next film.

Be sure to follow along on social media to keep up with our next project and films!

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Ego is the Great Killer of Creativity: Comparison Kills

Comparison kills. This is a message has been popping up a lot lately in my life and I’ve been having great conversations about this. It’s so easy to compare ourselves, our career, our relationships, our successes, and our life to those we see on social media. But the more we compare and dwell on what we don’t have or aren’t accomplishing in this moment, the less we’re dedicating our time and energy on creating, on being inspired, and on allowing opportunities into our own lives.

Whatever industry you’re in, I know we’ve all gone through that similar feeling: you hop onto Instagram, scroll through Insta stories, and there it is. Someone talking about the new project they just secured, the new role they booked, the new country they’re traveling to next week, or  all the amazing things that are happening to them because they worked so hard for it and it’s finally paying off. And that’s great! That’s awesome (truly) but then we start to get down on ourselves because, hey, we’re working really hard too, right? And we can’t help but think, “But why not me?

It’s SO hard not to compare and start feeling like we’re not good enough when we’re working day in and day out towards our dreams. But the fact is that we are all on our own journey and on our own path. No two people got to the same destination by taking the same path.  I’m a firm believer that hard work and luck go hand in hand. And maybe that luck is created by someone greater than us, but if we work really really hard and have that laser focus about what we want out of this life, what we want to accomplish, and the legacy we want to leave people with, I know that “luck” will be delivered to us. Sometimes people just get that earlier than we do and that’s okay. Because if we don’t give up, we’re going to get there too. One day you’re going to meet that right person at the right moment or have that job offer just land in your lap when you need it most or get that part you could feel was made for you.

As my acting teacher says: Ego is the great killer of creativity. What’s yours in yours and what’s mine is mine. I love that because it means we can genuinely celebrate other people’s journey and successes, knowing that we’re exactly where we’re meant to be.

#thursdaythoughts
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#ThursdayThoughts: If You Could Have Coffee With Anyone…

ThursdayThoughts is back and if you missed the first post in this series, check it out here! Basically I just ask a fun question for us to ponder/answer and it’s fun thinking about how every person would answer the question differently! SO, this week’s question is:

If you could sit down with any person that inspires you, dead or alive, and chat with them over coffee who would it be?

Of course I’m the most indecisive person ever so I’m going to give two answers for this. My number one would be my grandparents Ettie (Esther) & Jack. My mom’s parents who passed away when I was younger and I think that’s something I’ve always felt sort of heartbroken over, the fact that I never got to talk to them more or get to know them as I became an adult, etc. Man, I would LOVE to be able to sit down and talk to them. They had the most incredible, inspiring, purest love between them that just radiated whenever you were around the two of them. I would ask them more about their lives, more about how they met, I would probably sit there forever if I could.

Second, I would love to sit down with Maya Angelou. I’ve always thought she was a very strong, inspiring woman and I recently listened to a podcast with her on SuperSoul Sundays with Oprah. She has incredible life stories and wisdom and it would be so interesting to talk with her about her life. I was already blown away by what she shared with Oprah and I’m sure she has so much more to share.

Now it’s your turn! Who would you love to have coffee with? Scroll to the bottom and drop me a comment!

And if you want to talk more dreams and creative musings, head on over to my Instagram!

The Fear of Starting Something New
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The Fear of Starting Something New

I was going to title this “Overcoming the Fear of Starting Something New” but to be honest I don’t have the answers to overcoming it, so instead I’m starting a conversation about facing it head on and quieting that fear voice.

Every time I experience some large amount of change or embark on a journey of starting something new, my anxiety and the fear voice in my head are turned up to full volume. I don’t really know when or how this started with me because I actually welcome change. I truly believe starting new things and going out of your comfort zone are essential to growth, yet I still encounter this fear voice.

Fear of the Unknown

Why does this little fear voice pop up in our heads? I think it pops up for many reasons. I’m someone who likes to know the plan. I’m extremely curious and tend to (attempt) to predict all the “what-ifs”. I think we fear the unknown when we start something new. Whether that’s a new job, a new creative project, getting assigned a new account or assignment, starting at a new school, making new friends, starting a blog, the list goes on and on! We fear committing to something new and putting ourselves out there. We fear messing up or failing, we might even fear succeeding and knowing that our lives will change—even if that means small changes from our daily routine. It’s like walking down a flight of stairs, except it’s pitch dark at the end. If you can’t tell where or when you’ll take your next step, it’s hard to be 100% fearless right?

The only way out, is straight through

I think we’ll all probably experience this fear voice throughout our lives—it means our goals and dreams are big enough to scare us into taking action. But the only way to turn that fear volume down is to tackle the fear head on. Don’t put it off, don’t try to find ways around whatever it is that you’re about to begin, just do it. And sit in that fear and be honest with yourself why you’re feeling that fear.

I’ve heard many people say they try to talk themselves out of feeling anxious, nervous, or fearful about starting something new. I hear this all the time with auditions. I think that’s the less helpful approach. We’re not trying to trick ourselves by repeating some version of “don’t be scared” in our heads. Instead, if we get real with ourselves about why we’re fearful or nervous, it might lead to a more clear understanding of how to approach the situation and realize that the fear voice is totally unnecessary.

I recently started a new job in digital marketing and I really wanted this job! It was perfect for my schedule, the women I would be working with were so nice, and I thrived in the area I would be responsible for. So when I got the call that I actually got the job, you know what happened? Fear. Panic. Anxiety. The what-ifs came flooding in and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what changed so quickly. I had to sit in that feeling for a day before I realized it’s because I was trying to predict how everything would go. I felt such unease not knowing what my day-to-day would be like, especially when I had my routine down to a T this past year. I think this all goes back to something I had talked about on my Instagram last week. We can CHOOSE to not be stressed. If we’re conscious of that fear voice, we can try to be more conscious in how we deal with it.

So whenever that fear voice pops up for us, let’s remember these things:

  • Breathe
  • Don’t ignore the fear voice. Try to figure out what’s underneath that.
  • Realize that none of us can predict how anything will go, we can only try our best.
  • Know that we have a CHOICE. We can choose how to feel and react to the fear and ultimately, we have a choice about the path we take. Maybe whatever it is you’ve begun really isn’t right for you or your life. You can choose to not go down that path.
  • Truly recognize that everything happens for a reason and everything will be okay.

Maybe I should bookmark this blog for myself too 😉

How do you navigate the fear of starting something new?

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BookClub: 7 Books I Read & Loved in 2017
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BookClub: 7 Books I Read & Loved in 2017

It’s always nice to have a good book at hand and every morning I sit down to journal a little and read. It’s a nice escape and whether I’m diving into a non-fiction book to learn something new or adventuring along with the characters of a fiction novel, I loved reading these in 2017. Below are seven books you should go read now if you haven’t already! Feel free to click the photos/titles if you want to hop on Amazon and get these shipped to you right away (I know I’ve done that with 3 books already for the new year!)

The Magnolia Story – Joanna & Chip Gaines

Chip and Joanna wrote this book to tell not only their own love story, but how they started their crazy dream business (empire, really, if we’re being honest here). It was SUCH a good read. So much more inspring than I thought it would be and regardless of if you’re a huge fun of them, this book is for everyone out there with a goal. It’s also really inspiring to people who have no idea what they want to do in life. Chip and Jo are here to tell us that it will all work out the way it’s supposed to if we just have a little faith and a lot of courage.

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying: Lessons From a Life in Comedy – Carol Leifer

Comedian and TV show actress Carol Leifer details her experiences of trying to break into the business and it was a funny, honest look at what that truly looks like. No glam, no flashy business but hard work and some super funny stories that will make you laugh so much! I love hearing people’s stories about how they got to where they are now because it shows us all that we have to start somewhere, right?

Lily and the Octopus – Steven Rowley

I’m not crying you’re crying! You will cry. I’m just going to lay it all out there now, you will love this book and you will cry very hard. Oh my goodness this book! I am a major dog lover and have always had a dog in my life. I currently have 4 dogs, 2 little ones and 2 big ones. They are the loves of my life! This book was such a unique, funny, and heartwarming story about one dog owner. I love love love the fact that this book went inside the dog’s head but from such a different perspective that I hadn’t read before. So imaginative and original. You’ll be better off for having read this!

Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook – Tony Robbins

Like I’ve mentioned before, I have that nerdy side of me that loves marketing and business books. I love soaking up new information and this past year I became really curious about investing and the right way to go about that as I get older. This book was SO helpful in explain to millennials the way it works and why we need to start investing now. I’ll leave it all up to the inspirational Tony Robbins to tell you, but I learned that it doesn’t matter how much you start with it just matters that you start now and not later!

Faith Countryman – Lori Hartman Gervasi

One of my favorite novels to date!!! You guys HAVE to read this. The characters in this book were so original and I always felt like I was right there having a conversation with them or standing in the same room. It’s my favorite thing to sit with a good book and just escape the world for a little bit and I did not want to put this novel down or stop going on the adventure with Faith! A must-read!

The Intent to Live: Achieving Your True Potential as an Actor – Larry Moss

This book will probably only be of interest to those who like acting but if you’re curious about what it really takes to be an actor and all the WORK it takes, all the inner work that goes on, then definitely pick up a copy of this! For anyone reading that does act: This book needs to be on your shelf to keep forever as a reference. Larry is a master and I wish I got to train with him. He gives invaluable advice, exercises, and personal stories we can all relate to. Consider this an acting class in a book.

Left Neglected – Lisa Genova

I remember I picked this book up in Portland about 2 years ago and it sat on my shelf un-read for whatever reason! I was cleaning out my room and picked it back up and decided to give it a read. I have to admit I thought I wasn’t going to like it….oh how WRONG I was! I loved this book! I couldn’t put it down and I mean it. There is so much more to this book and let me just say there’s double meaning to the title 😉 I truly fell in love with the main character and her voice. Everytime I would come home from somewhere I got sucked into reading this and finished it in less than a week.

 

I’m definitely a book worm and always will be, and it’s so interesting to see what books I stumble across I hadn’t planned to read. I already plowed through an amazing book so I’ll have to write it down for my 2018 list. Anyways, tell me every book you loved reading this past year below so I can pick up a copy and check it out!!

Setting Clear Intentions for 2018: New Year’s Resolutions (Only Better)
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Setting Clear Intentions for 2018: New Year’s Resolutions (Only Better)

If you didn’t catch yesterday’s blog post, Finding Clarity: Questions for the New Year, I mentioned that I’m doing an email series with my subscribers called Cultivating Your Best Year. Day 3 (the final day) was all about setting clear intentions for 2018. As day 3 came and went I realized…wow that was a lot of journaling! And that’s coming from someone who really enjoys it. I’ve said it again and I’ll say it before though…journaling really does provide so much clarity, new ideas you didn’t know were in the back of your head, and a perspective you didn’t know you had. I really enjoyed doing this email series and got some sweet messages and comments. Thank you to everyone that felt a sense of purpose through this and I’m glad we can go into 2018 with a little more clarity and a lot more creative inspiration! P.S. if you don’t want to miss out next time, click here and scroll to the bottom where it says “Let’s Connect” and sign up for my newsletter!

Ever since I was young I would make new years resolutions. I’m an avid list maker and always have been and when I was younger they were always those vague, cliché resolutions: workout more, read more, keep my room cleaner, etc. But as each year passes I’ve learned a lot more about resolutions, goals, and intentions and the difference between then all. Here’s why I think intentions are the foundation we need to start with.

Here’s something I said in my email newsletter:

Goals vs. Intentions

For me, I think the difference between goals and intentions is that goals imply a specific outcome. While specificity is great, I think intentions are more about the journey and making longterm changes that will lead to your goals & dreams. Don’t get me wrong, I love setting goals for myself. However, I think I can agree that there’s a negative connotation that comes with not meeting that goal. Intentions comes from a place of presence, and that’s pretty powerful. A great example I’ve read about goals vs. intentions has to do with weight loss. For example, let’s say you give yourself the goal of losing 20 pounds by the end of the year. But if you set out to do that without the intentions of really trying to live a healthy lifestyle and have that awareness to make those changes within your diet and exercise, you could be setting yourself up for a year of stress or not meeting that goal. And if you do meet it, where do you go from there?

A truly GREAT thing I read about goals and intentions said this: “Declare your intentions first, then build your goals on top of them.” That makes so much sense, right? Healthy lifestyle = intentions, losing 20 pounds = specific goal that builds from that intention.

Setting intentions allows you to live your values and attract the life you want. It’s common for many Entrepreneurs to set intentions because it’s truly a powerful tool!

Questions for Clarity:

Here are just a couple questions I asked my subscribers to journal, and a glimpse into my answers!

In order to see your dreams come to life, what parts of your life need to shift this year? What habits do you want to start or remove? What fears do you want to overcome? 

One of my words this year is Action. I moved closer in the direction of my dreams and goals but I want to attract them even more. I was productive, but not as productive as I could have been. I set some systems in place, like powerblocking my days, but I fell off the wagon a bit. This year I want to shift my day-to-day to taking more meaningful action. No scrolling on the internet or doing tasks for my blog when I know I sat down to work on my screenplay. Purposeful action. I know that I’m most productive and my brain is buzzing with ideas most in the morning. Things that could shift are my sleeping schedule and going to bed earlier to put everything else into place. Sometimes I look at my to-do list of everything I need to do to break into the industry for acting/screenwriting and it’s overwhelming. This year what I want to shift is not feeling like it’s a sprint but a marathon. All I can do is focus on one thing at a time and then move down the list.

I’d also like to shift my reaction to things more to a place of pausing, listening, taking it all in before reaction. I can be opinionated with those close to me and would like to see one of my core values of inner harmony come to fruition more this year.

Choose a word or a few words to be the anchors for 2018.

I divided mine into two words: Action + Inspire. Action to anchor my personal dreams and to take actionable steps towards that & Inspire to be a mantra for me in this world of blogging and writing. Both words are so purposeful to me right now in my life. In the blogging world, it can be hard to find your identity or figure out how to take your authenticity and make that your brand. Choosing inspire as my word is also my anchor for everything my blog stands for and helps keep me on track when I’m thinking of content ideas or what to say to my audience!

What are your creative or life’s work intentions for 2018? List a goal for each intention (I asked this slightly differently in my email but condensing it for this post)

  • To be more vulnerable on my blog/social media this year. A goal that stems from this is to incorporate video into my content more
  • To take more actionable steps towards what I want to accomplish instead of putting things off. A goal that stems from this intention is to acquire a theatrical agent as well as a commercial agent
  • To make my screenwriting part of my day-to-day routine, no excuses. A goal that stems from this is to have a completed and much better rewrite draft by this year.

What are some of your intentions for 2018? I’d love to know! Comment below and tell me and feel free to journal your own answers to the questions above!



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