James Prescott

exploring how words & stories shape lives

Discover The ‘Dance Of The Writer’ – FREE E-Book

Feature Box

Hi, it’s great to have you here. To welcome you I’d like to give you a new, FREE E-Book ‘Dance Of The Writer: A Beginners Guide To Authentic Writing’.

‘Dance Of The Writer’ is a book about maintaining authenticity in our work & balancing it with the world of business and marketing.

“Authenticity is fundamental to creating great work, as what we create reveals the truth of who we are”

Get your FREE copy of ‘Dance Of The Writer’ by filling in this form:

How We Discover Ourselves In Our Art

A while back I was ill with a really bad case of flu (and for the record, it was real flu, not man flu). It tied me to my bed for a few days. It was the kind of ill where your mind drifts and you can hardly speak or think straight.

I barely had the strength to stand up and get dressed, yet alone to reflect on anything and write it down.

But with regards to my writing, it was more like a great excuse. Because in truth, I’d been battling writers block for a while. What this period of illness did was give me an excuse not to even fight anymore.

I’d done my standard tactic of sitting down and simply waiting for something to come out. Waiting to see what was inside. It usually works. But I seemed to have lost the motivation and energy to even try that.

So what was wrong? And what else could I do?

What Time Taught Me About Authenticity

So today I’m exploring more about authenticity. I imagine some of you are already asking ‘Another post about authenticity? Really?’.

Stick with me. There’s a reason I’m using this word.

Which brings me to time.

Time is a powerful thing. We can’t resist it’s power, no matter how much we try. It claims all of us eventually. But time is invariably wise too. It has much to teach us.

In my case, the years have taught me much about the meaning and importance of authenticity.

Truth. In life and work.

5 Steps To A More Open Church

As many of you know, the ‘issue’ of sexuality/gender preference and faith is one I am passionate about. I recently ran a series on my blog about LGBT issues and faith, sharing my own story and the story of members of the LGBT community, in order to engage in healthy conversation about this issue, rather than heated debate – which ultimately, leads nowhere.

It’s an ongoing discussion for me, and it’s work I will continue with – both in my writing and in work in my local community.

And, for me, this is not simply about LGBT community – it’s about the kind of church we want to have.

I was recently invited to a conference held at Oasis Waterloo, over two days, called ‘Open Church’. The conference was about the discussion around Christianity and LGBT issues, and building a more welcoming, open church.

How I Discovered The ‘Why’ Of Suffering

Have you ever had one of those ‘why’ moments? When something happens which causes us pain, suffering, hurt, or sheer frustration and anger – and all you can do is ask ‘Why?’.

Why did that person I love have to die?

Why did my friend develop that condition or disease?

Why did that person get the job I wanted (and deserved)?

Why have I suffered so much when I know I don’t deserve it?

Why did that expensive thing I need break when I don’t have the money to replace it?

Me too.

I’ve asked the question ‘why?’ so often it’s become a chorus, a song stuck on repeat in the depths of my heart. I still do.

But recently I came about an answer, in the most unexpected way.

Why Authenticity Is About Integrity, Not Baring It All

I’ve talked a lot about here about authenticity. Finding authenticity in our work, and living an authentic life, are issues which are really important to me. Indeed, my free e-book on this blog is all about how we begin that journey of authenticity in regards to writing and artistic work.

But one mistake people can easily make when talking about authenticity, and being authentic, is to confuse this with exposing ourselves completely.

I’ve talked to writer friends going through very painful family circumstances, who are concerned if they don’t share information about this on their blog, if they don’t talk about it publicly, they aren’t being authentic.

And this is utter garbage.

Fear vs Trust (Guest Post by Nancy Kay Grace)

Hi friends. Today I’m delighted to be welcoming Nancy Kay Grace to my blog. She is a speaker & author from Arkansas, in the US. She has contributed to several anthology books, and been in ministry over 40 years. Nancy has recently launched her new book, ‘The Grace Impact’. Grace is one of the things I’m most passionate about, and today Nancy shares more about this with us:

“The LORD is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid?” (Ps. 27:1)

Fears can grip and paralyze us, becoming larger than reality. When faced with fears, we have a choice: to look at the fear and let it grow larger or focus on the Lord in deeper trust. When we trust the Lord in fearful situations we grow in understanding His grace. In the below abridged segment from The Grace Impact, we are encouraged to look to the Lord to press out our fears:

How I Discovered The Beauty Of Failure

As many of us know to our cost, life doesn’t always turn out the way you planned. The reality is that there will always be disruptions – both good and bad – which alter the course of your life. You have failures which are unexpected – and they impact who you are.

You can make good, detailed plans – and there is a place for them. They provide structure and focus.

But life often gets in the way.

Which brings me to my book, ‘Mosaic Of Grace’. Because writing, as I’ve often said, is like life. And what’s happened with this book has been a prime example of how our lives can be shaped by disruption – and how failure can be beautiful.

Ferris Bueller, FOMO & The Truth Of Breathing

A fortnight back I attended a 2 day teaching with Rob Bell on all sorts of subjects. I’ll be blogging about it in more detail soon.

One of the issues he raised was a topic Brenda McGraw touched on last week – burnout, rest. And today I want to talk about another aspect of this – taking care of ourselves.

So naturally, there’s only one person I thought to turn to first.

I’m talking of course, about Ferris Bueller. He once said this:

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”

A well known quote. And as we’ll see, Ferris nails it completely