James Prescott

exploring how words & stories shape lives

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

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Out Now – A FREE E-Book for Blog Subscribers, a quality book written & created in just 24 hours:

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

‘Dance Of The Writer: A Beginners Guide To Authentic Writing’, is a book about maintaining authenticity in our work & balancing it with the world of business and marketing.

Get your FREE copy here:

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

How To Overcome Burnout (Guest Post by Brenda McGraw)

I’ve been taking a little break from blogging, but I’ll be back next week. Meanwhile, today I have another guest post for you all. I’m delighted to host my friend Brenda McGraw on this site.

Brenda is a author & speaker from South Carolina, a heart attack & cancer survivor who now helps people find joy beyond the complexities of modern life.

Today she’s sharing on an interesting perspective on an important subject – how we handle the burnout many of us today experience. I’ll be blogging around this topic soon myself. So, over to Brenda:

How do you handle burnout? When life just gets to be overwhelming and is coming at you faster than you can keep up with it, what happens? Do you shut down purposely? Or are you the one who keeps pushing yourself until you get sick and have to shut down?

Are we listening to our bodies when they are yelling at us that they are “stressed out,” or are we avoiding the signs of stress or burnout?

The Ordinariness Of Grace (Guest Post by Ashley Hales)

Today I’m honoured to host Ashley Hales on the blog. Ashley is a blogger, author and mum who loves talking about story, and believes deeply in the power of story to shape us. She’s an excellent writer & become a good friend, I’m delighted to host her here, talking today about grace. So without further ado, over to Ashley:

This post was going to be about how grace is violent, how it knocks us down and changes our categories and realigns our desires. Something akin to how Flannery O’Connor unites grace with the grotesque in daily ways. Grace does do that – it rushes in and knocks you down.

But it’s the quietness of grace, its small and ordinariness, that I want to tell you about.

You see, I grew up on a diet of “you can be anything you want to be” and “the world is your oyster.” And as an entire generation who is coming to age now knows, such statements just don’t hold water anymore.

You can’t be anything you want. You can’t just live an exotic life and get rich quick. You can no longer simply work your way up the corporate ladder and arrive at the pinnacle of success.

How To Begin The Journey To Your Calling

I don’t write because its fun. I don’t write because I always like it. I don’t write because it always makes me feel good. I don’t write to get applause or to make money.

I write for two reasons:

Because I love it.

And because it’s my calling.

Calling is an often-used word, sounds a bit corny and over-romanticised.

But calling is important – for all of us.

How Grace Exposes Our Truth

When you create, a truth about you is always revealed – whether you intend it to or not. As I’ll talk about in more depth in a future post, you can’t hide the truth about yourself when you create, for good or ill.

In the last 18 months I have been working on a book on grace. It’s a subject close to my heart, and one which needs more said about it. I am desperate to share this message with the world.

I share stories of grace from my own life in the book, and others stories.

But in the last 8 months in particular I have discovered in even more harsh reality of the theory I had talked about.

It’s strange. Writing about grace opened my eyes in some way to the grace which was taking place in my own life,

You see grace isn’t a good feeling we get when things go well. It’s not a simple peaceful feeling or emotion.

Grace is violent. If we let it, it tears us open and exposes the truth of who we are – the good we don’t want to believe, and the bad we choose to ignore. And if we allow it, it helps us work through these issues.