Wishing you all a safe and happy New Year!
We met some amazing creative folks at the awesome event we participated in during the month of December and we are really looking forward to the upcoming conventions in 2023!
Added events: Madison and Springfield Quad Cons!
Updated Midwest Monster Fest: New dates have been added!
readersfavorite.com will have two of my available books listed as prizes in the monthly book giveaway. If you are interested in winning some amazing books by great authors you can check out the monthly giveaway here: book giveaway /Rise and here for The Warning Signs: giveaway/the-warning-signs
Upcoming Event Reminders:
Concealed Realms with be at Anime-Zap! The event takes place January 6th, 7th and 8th in Peoria, IL.
Concealed Realms plans to participate at the Ceder Rapids QuadCon on February 5th. This event takes place at the Cedar Rapids Convention Center.
We are scheduled to return to the NWI Comic Con on February 11th! This event will be held at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Crown Point, IN.
We are scheduled to participate at the Hall of Heroes Comic Con on March 4th and 5th. This event takes place at the Northern Indiana Event Center, located in Elkhart, IN.
We will be participating at the Madison, WI East Towne Mall Quad Con on Saturday April 8th! Keep in mind that this event is open on both the 8th and the 9th.
Concealed Realms will be at the Quad Cities Comic Con. This even takes place April 15th and 16th, at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport Iowa.
We are scheduled to participate at SalukiCon! This event takes place April 22nd and 23rd at the SIU Student Center in Carbondale, IL.
On June 11th we plan to participate at the Springfield, IL QuadCon! This event is set to take place in the Crowne Plaza Convention Center.
Concealed Realms plans to participate at Midwest Monster Fest on September 23rd and 24th . This event is scheduled to take place in East Moline, IL at The Rust Belt.
Quotes about Craft and Skill Mastery:
“A step towards what you fear is a mile towards mastering it.” – Matshona Dhliwayo
“Patience, my friend” – Ufuoma Apoki
“Don’t think about why you question, simply don’t stop questioning. Don’t worry about what you can’t answer, and don’t try to explain what you can’t know. Curiosity is its own reason.” – Robert Greene, Mastery
“By stretching skills, by reaching toward higher challenges, such a person becomes an increasingly extraordinary individual.”- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
“Learning a difficult skill takes time. But remember, the harder the skill is to learn, the more fulfilling it is when you reach the finish line.”- Mark Joseph Aduana
“Though you can love what you do not master, you cannot master what you do not love.” – Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“When you can see mastery as a path you go down instead of a destination you arrive at, it starts to feel accessible and attainable. Most assume mastery is an end result, but at its core, mastery is a way of thinking, a way of acting, and a journey you experience.” – Gary Keller
“Start small and start immediately.”- Cal Newport
“Energy and persistence conquer all things.” – Benjamin Franklin
“Those qualities that separate us are often ridiculed by others or criticized by teachers. Because of these judgments, we might see our strengths as disabilities and try to work around them in order to fit in.
But anything that is peculiar to our makeup is precisely what we must pay the deepest attention to and lean on in our rise to mastery.”- Robert Greene, Mastery
Definition of Mastery:
“command or grasp, as of a subject.“
“expert skill or knowledge.” – www.dictionary.com
” possession or display of great skill or technique” – merriamwebster.com
Cheers to the New Year!
It’s that time again! 2022 has drawn to a close, and you probably already have a grand list of creative endeavors which you intend to accomplish in the months to come. If your an author, these goals may include smaller achievements involving word counts and productivity as well as big things like mastering short stories, drafting whole manuscripts, or learning a new skill such as screen writing.
Kudos to you! Whether you work fast or take your time, are a social butterfly or more of a loner, every creative has their own process which is influenced by a variety of factors. You should figure out what you want and then go for that, do not worry about what you think everyone else is doing. As creatives we each have a different way of traversing our path, whats right for one may not be right for the other.
This year, instead of making a list of constructive pursuits myself, I would like to focus on mastering one skill. Keeping a positive mindset. Sounds strange right? Let me explain my reasoning by first asking a question:
Without the right mindset how can you master anything?
If negativity can be contagious, then we should try to remember that positivity can be as well. I believe that it is something we all need a reminder of from time to time. So, my goal is to reinforce this idea for myself as well as for others within the creative community.
Easier said than done, right?
You cannot keep negativity at bay all the time and of course plenty of research suggests that negativity can stifle creativity, but what if this isn’t always the case? What if in order to master mindset, we could change the way we view our negative emotions when it comes to creative productivity.
According to an article from, london.edu, a research paper titled ‘The Role of Affect Climate in Organizational Effectiveness’ By Dr Parke and Myeong-Gu Seo, explores how both positive and negative emotions can be used to harness and reinforce creativity in different ways. Their research shows evidence that in some instances it may be how we deal with these influences that determines negativity’s impact on our creative mindset.
So, in this creativity post I will share some interesting research on the polarizing emotions as they relate to our workplace endeavors, while offering a few ideas on how to keep a mindset that will encourage creativity.
Negativity and Creativity
There is more than one type of negativity that we encounter in our daily lives. As far as work environment goes, there is much debate among experts as to whether positive or negative emotions have the greatest impact on our creative behaviors.
As imagine-eers we tend to associate creativity with a boundless imagination and positive emotions. However, creative challenges can require concentration and persistence. So, while positive effects have often been sighted as a facilitator of creative thinking, there is also evidence that negative experiences and emotions help open our minds up to new ideas in order to transcend situations that we find difficult. Thus inciting creativity as we are inspired to find different solutions to problems.
In the journal article, A DYNAMIC PERSPECTIVE ON AFFECT AND CREATIVITY, the authors demonstrate this interplay of both positive and negative effects, to show how the combination can have the strongest effect on heightening creativity.
The information gives us an alternative way to think about negativity. It not only reinforces that our emotions compel us into creative action but show that while positive emotions stimulate open minded thinking, negative emotions tend to lead to creative problem solving. These traits are all important in producing creative works. But what about other forms of negativity?
We have all experienced self doubt, whether it is internal or was triggered by an outside force, at one point or another, anxiety can come at you from many angles, you might even feel that people judge you when you say your job is related to artistic pursuits.
Quelling your own inner self doubts, may be as simple as reminding yourself why you have chosen to pursuit your creative goals. For me its writing, so here is my own personal answer:
Why Do I Write?
Writing can be an escape. I am an author and I write for myself because I know that even when others will not listen to me, the paper will never reject my ink. As I scribble, my words cannot get morphed into something they are not. My sentences belong to me foremost and then, of course to anyone who desires to read them, but they are still my words.
I write for you because, I am a story teller and an artist. There is something uniquely therapeutic about finding just the right words and stringing them together in such a way that evokes the senses, bringing the places, emotions, and ideas in my imagination to life for others. I write with the idea that my characters will make you feel hope, understand sorrow, experience giddiness, and acquire new ambitions.
Of course it can be harder to disregard another persons opinion, especially if they are someone you know, whether they are familiar with your work or not, their attitude can have a negative impact, if you allow it. Perhaps they give the impression that they do not think you are moving far enough, fast enough to be successful.
Try Refocusing by reminding yourself:
Every career, in every industry has setbacks and one person’s idea of being a success in their business, does not need to be the same as others. The fact is, whatever your creative
endeavor, the majority of the population has no real idea of how much is involved in your pursuit. Many of us are modest, quiet, and reflective, so only those that actually know us well, have any idea of the amount of time and energy that goes into our work.
I am not condoning people’s negative attitudes towards anyone, just offering other creatives ideas on how to refocus after an encounter has left you questioning your abilities or feeling like an imposter. The fact remains that even when you are doing well, other people’s attitudes towards your goals can have a bigger impact than you and in some cases, even they realize.
If I find my creativity waning during the workday, I often move on to a different unrelated activity temporarily. I find that this type of reset works well for me. Below is a list of ten such tasks that are said to help reduce stress and reinforce positivity:
- Start a gratitude journal.
- Read a book.
- Break a sweat.
- Take walks.
- Make a list of long term and short term goals
- Plan something to look forward to doing after your workday has ended.
- Practice meditation.
- Listen to music that matches your mood.
- Play a game.
- Learn something new!
Thinking about things in a positive way may not be as cut and dry as I believed when I started this article. Through research I found that, as far as emotions go in the workplace, your creative endeavors may benefit more from gaining a better understanding of how they impact and contribute to our perception and problem-solving abilities.