A New Look, Embracing Your Other Side & Letting Grace In

manandwomenHello friends, welcome back to my blog. Today is kind of an update/catch up post – it’s a busy day for me, writing wise, with two guest posts on other blogs – and a new look for this site! There’s lots of news so let’s get going:

A New Look – Going Pro

First, the obvious – the new look. I decided a few months back I wanted to up the ante in terms of quality, design, and content. The thought was, as I’m looking to move into doing more coaching & e-courses, and with a book coming out, it’s time I got more professional with this site, in terms of design, accessibility and in terms of quality.

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Why A Platform Is A Responsibility, Not A Quest For Glory

2b7f58a1b6a9de890b9f9b010ae7b77cIn the last 48 hours social media has gone into meltdown in reaction to the disgraceful comments made by Donald Trump in 2005, comments which effectively endorse patriarchy and rape culture.

Comments which have no place in civilised society.

And no place in the White House.

As a regular visitor to social media, there has, rightly, been outrage – both at the comments themselves and some people’s reaction to them. Including from myself.

There’s been many comments which have left me dumbfounded. One of these was from a major author a critic of Trump’s comments – who made clear there were people DM’ing them their outrage, but not saying anything publicly for fear of losing their platforms.

And when I saw that, I was shocked. read more…

Why Being A Perfectionist Wrecks Our Creativity

95372bad234118d445f40e372f4f922e“It’s got to be perfect” the old song goes. And many of us, when we’re doing any kind of work, can easily begin to think it has to be.

After all, we live in a world where value comes from what you produce, what you earn, your position, and, at times, your relationship status. That’s one of the main reasons we buy into perfectionism so easily. The pursuit of perfection is ingrained in our culture.

But perfectionism can kill our joy, it can ultimately bring us down, and make us feel worthless. And as indeed research has shown it to have a negative impact on our physical and mental health, and decrease our chances of success. 

And in art, it can prevent us from ever sharing our work, and freeze our creativity. read more…

Why It’s Easier To Believe In Others Than In Ourselves (& What We Can Do About It)

trust-440224_640“Believe in yourself”.

How many times have you heard that mantra preached to you? I’ve lost count of the times I have.

I think a more accurate, helpful phrase might be

‘Trust In Yourself’

You see I’ve always a great believer in encouragement. I’ve always been an optimist when it comes to other people. I have great belief in others potential. I love to encourage others, and I have great confidence in others ability to grow and thrive.

But I have none for myself. read more…

How Writing (& X-Men) Saved Me From Myself

imgres-1One value I place above all is authenticity. And on a blog, this means always being honest, and being vulnerable as much as is appropriate.

I firmly believe the best creative work – including our lives – is always honest, always authentic.

Tell the truth, the last few months have been tough for me. Without going into too much detail, I’ve been feeling led to confront issues from my childhood, which I’ve buried and run away from for 20 years. They’d been undermining me and controlling me for too long – and this year, I knew it was time to confront them. I knew this would mean going down a dark path, into the valley, and knew this would impact me – but I also knew it was, and is, absolutely necessary for me to grow.

What I didn’t expect was the depths to which this would go, and has gone.

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The Biggest Failure Of An Artist (& How To Avoid It)

Not too long ago I shared a blog post which was the most difficult I’ve ever had to share. Hitting the publish button for me isn’t usually an issue, but this one was different. This post covered arguably the two most divisive issues around – religion and politics.

And not only that, it’s title – “Why Jesus Would Welcome Refugees & Eat With Donald Trump” – had the potential to alienate both liberals and conservatives. Conservatives would disagree with me on refugees, and liberals on Donald Trump.

Above all though, it touched on a subject which many of my closest friends disagreed with me on – the idea we shouldn’t ban Donald Trump from the UK.

I admit, it was very tough to share this post. And out of sensitivity, I didn’t put it on my personal Facebook profile, because I’d already offended people with my response on a Facebook conversation a few weeks ago and didn’t want to stir this up again.

However, I didn’t hide the post. I still publicised and promoted it. On my writers page, on my Facebook group, on Twitter and elsewhere. Anyone could find it if they wanted.

Because if I didn’t do this, I’d have become a hypocrite.

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How To Be Better, Not Bitter

imgres-1It’s time for me to make a confession. I’m James Prescott. I’m a writer. And although I love seeing others thrive, grow and find their calling, I have the occasional, fleeting moments where I’m jealous of others.

I have times when I feel envy and bitterness. A sense of injustice at seeing others who never asked for, or were even interested in success or writing, have instant and incredible success, when I’ve worked hard for years and never got as far.

Let’s be honest, it’s easy to feel a sense of injustice when people whose major talent clearly isn’t writing – though I’m sure they have serious talent elsewhere – sell 120 million copies of what most critics agree are some of the more poorly written books out there (I’m sure you know which shade of book I’m talking about).

In all seriousness though, it’s my dark side, and I don’t like it. I don’t agree with it. It doesn’t represent me. I want nothing to do with it. But it’s real.

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It’s Imagination Which Brings Transformation

imgresWe all know there are massive problems in the world. You don’t need to look very far to see violence, oppression, injustice, inequality, prejudice, corruption and above all fear.

Consumerism rules the world. And the problem with consumerism, is that it’s about certainty. To thrive, consumerism needs profit, and profit comes from taking as small a risk as possible. You find something which works and stick to the formula. Because the formula delivers results.

But the secret to solving the worlds problems, ironically, doesn’t come from certainty. It comes through risk.

It comes through pushing through fear and daring to imagine a new tomorrow. A different, better future, in any field of work and life, only comes through creativity.

Transformation comes, above all, through imagination. read more…

Why There’s No Foolproof Methods – Just Our Story

your story matters 4gglcom

I read a post recently, from last year, called ‘A Letter To Donald Miller’.

It presented some very well reasoned arguments about Donald Miller, a NYT-Bestselling author who had spoken about uncertainty, doubt, and mystery. And how he was now selling products and posting blog posts which, in contrast, were about guaranteed results, promises, and certainty.

Now I’m a big fan of Donald Miller. The one thing I treasure above all things in writing is authenticity, and whenever I read Don’s words, whether it’s in books or blog posts, they are always honest. He’s always vulnerable and shares his story honestly. I’ve learned so much from his writing.

To be honest, I’ve not figured out whether I agree with the poster about Don, or not. That needs further reflection, and it’s not the main point here.

The real message to me from this letter, was this: Whether intentionally or not, Don had given the impression that he had abandoned mystery, questioning and doubt, and moved to certainty. Moved from accepting we don’t have all the answers, to selling courses which promise all the answers.

And for me, those guaranteed, fix-all solutions these type of courses sell us? They simply don’t exist.

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Why We Must Be Advocates, Not Platform Builders

creativity art of storiesWhen we write, or we create art, or anything for that matter, is there a cause, a reason, an underlying passion, a mission?

When I began my podcast and was looking for great people to interview, I’ll be honest, it was more about me. I didn’t realise this at the time, but looking back, I was looking to grow my podcast (not a bad desire in itself) and I wanted guests to help me do that.

I did – and do – want to share great stories, whether they’re from well known people, or less well known stories But on reflection, back then I wanted names for what they could do for me, not how I could serve them.

It wasn’t to serve them. It wasn’t to learn from them. With the big names, wasn’t about advocating a particular message or cause  It was simply to use their platform to advance mine. And fortunately, I didn’t get hardly any of the “big names” I wanted back then.

Thank goodness I didn’t. Because back then, my attitude was dead wrong.

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