Identify Talents to Focus Creative Energy

Focus creative energy – a feat that can seem impossible to maintain for longer than an hour with the hundreds of pretty and sparkly ideas zinging around my brain. Maybe you can relate. Miraculously, a retrospectively inspired solution fell at my feet.

Two weeks ago, while discussing our lives, a friend asked me to list my talents as a person, friend, wife, and mother. Such an exercise seemed prideful at first blush, but, as my friend pointed out, God sent us to earth with talents and expects us to use and enjoy them.

Shortly before our conversation I was frustrated to the point of paralysis after my first book interview with Beth Newell on her Seeking Light podcast. The interview went wonderfully, but in the days that followed I realized that I could not articulate my purpose, vision, and mission as an author. Unfortunately, no one else could tell me, though I probably would have refused well-intended help because my fierce independence is a natural assistance acceptance inhibitor.

So, why do I want to invest my writing equity towards the worldwide collection of literature by name instead of operating as a phantom novelist named Bergitta Astucious? Fatefully, I ignored my preference for flying under radars and published a book about my life with half of my face unapologetically consuming the cover. I sort of hoped that Liberated From Silence would become widely popular without the necessity of further vulnerability. Ridiculous.

After utilizing my friend’s wisdom, I boiled down my chaotic and seemingly disjointed author intentions into a singular purpose, ambitious vision, and precise mission. Observe how identifying talents allowed me to focus creative energy.

The Energy of the Creative

Who am I? Tessa. A wife. A mother. A friend. A daughter of God. An author. A voice of faith. Collector of elegant vintage dresses that hang in my closet patiently waiting to be worn. A lover of layered meanings, metaphors, and similes. Passionate. Unorganized while operating under the belief that I am organized; it’s a problem.

Thankfully, I live near Seattle, Washington where few people use organization skills as a measure of worth. However, when I have all four of my children in public at the same time we garner much attention. My family and I live in an adorable home full of squealing, laughter, screaming, crying, yelling, clanking kitchenware, dogs barking, and, occasionally, the righteous indignation of a mother overwhelmed.

To me, thriving includes the ability to write whatever I want, read historical fiction, classics, memoirs, and social sciences, make festive holiday crafts out of pretentious wool felt, exercise until the extra energy leaves my body leaving nothing to fuel paralyzing anxiety and depression, which is not a 100% effective preventative treatment but does yield desirable results, go on walks, talk, research various topics of interest, and, most importantly, develop my relationship with Jesus Christ.

Jesus is my answer when the silence of fear screams at deafening decibels as predators, hypocrites, warlords, and unhinged selfishness ravage our hearts, homes, and minds. Instinctively, I want to ease the acute and chronic pains of the souls that walk by, shrouded in clouds of darkness and despair. On the other end of the spectrum, Jesus is my answer when I cannot contain my joy for the gratitude of my family. Relationships are my treasures. Jesus makes them eternal.

Talents to Focus Creative Energy

So, what are my talents? Once identified, how can I apply those talents to my growth as an author?

Person: I am tenacious, strong-willed, determined. What I set out to do will get done, even if it takes much longer than expected and looks much different than anticipated.

Author Application: Keep writing when it seems like few people outside my social circle read my words. Be consistent.

Friend: I am empathetic and generous.

Author application: Illustrate human suffering through relatable stories and let the solution magnify the generosity of Jesus Christ. Show don’t tell.

Wife: I diligently find and stumble upon a myriad of ways to provide my husband with reasons to laugh.

Author Application: Include comedic relief of my favorite sorts; witty social observations slathered in the irony of contradictive behaviors.

Mother: I encouraging self-expression by working with my children’s personalities rather than attempting to shut them down for my convenience or comfort.

Author Application: Step outside of familiarity. Talk with people with whom I would not necessarily naturally cross paths. Ask questions and listen with the intent to understand.

Clarification Achieved

As I wrote down talents and applications, key words and concise ideas presented themselves, dispersing the wisps of ideas and intentions I couldn’t quite grab. They appeared as if they were patiently waiting for me to look in their direction. Thankfully, I now stand on a solid foundation of purpose, with a clear vision, and mapped out mission.

Behold!

Purpose

Write illustrative stories that examine the complexities of relationships and magnify the generosity of Jesus Christ.

Vision

To be a steady voice that points to Jesus Christ as the solution for broken hearts, homes, and minds.

Mission

Consistently create literature that asks questions of our cultural perspectives and biases through broadening our understanding of joy and sorrow.

Give it a Whirl

Just for fun, identify your talents as a person, a friend, and whatever other roles you play. In doing so, you may find that you, too, can focus creative energy that previously seemed too wild to harness.

Shine Bright!

– Tessa

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