While I was creating my latest course, Effortless Essay Writing, I received an important reminder from a butterfly that reminded me that creative confidence can be strong and gentle.

Over the weeks I was working on the course, summer started in earnest, and while summer is not my favorite season, I love gardening, and I have cultivated a variety of gardens all around the house over the past several years.

Tending my gardens is a great way to take a quick mental break when I am working hard on a project. So I go outside to turn on or off my soaker hoses, quickly pull a few weeds, make a bouquet or just stroll around with a cup of coffee or iced tea and admire the cumulative results of my efforts.

Gardens are never static. They are always evolving, changing, and expanding just like us. And since I am always planting new seeds, there are often new discoveries to make on a daily basis.

As I was finishing my last class, I kept seeing a large yellow butterfly fluttering about in my newest garden. Apparently I have finally planted flowers that butterflies like, which makes me happy. I have always enjoyed visiting hummingbirds and I’m excited to be attracting butterflies now, too.

The big, yellow butterfly showed up right when I was considering the best photo to represent my new course. It never would have occurred to me on my own to use a butterfly image, but I was feeling less than satisfied with the more straightforward images of laptops, notebooks and fingers typing.

When you are writing an essay, you might see an awful lot of your laptop or your notebook or your fingers typing but I’m not sure these images are all that inspiring in and of themselves.

And that’s how it hit me that the butterfly was a much better image for what I was communicating in my new essay writing class. Writers struggle with essay writing in so many ways and most of those struggles are rooted in trying too hard. I created a course that outlines an effortless approach to essay writing that will work every time, just as a butterfly finds flowers and drinks nectar without struggle.

So many of us have been raised on shoulds and musts and trying to have willpower over our unruly selves, and this type of self-controlled approach does not activate our purest creative efforts. Our ideas are always calling to us, if we are attuned to receiving them and being gentle enough with ourselves to attract our best ideas is at the root of happy creating. After that, all we have to do is stay light about the process and not fall into the trap of worrying about outcomes or taking ourselves too seriously.

Even though we live in a noisy world with crazy things happening all the time, the butterflies still find the flowers with the nectar they need. They don’t care who is tweeting what on social media. They simply find the flowers they need and flit on over to them on a calm, warm day to gently extract the nectar they need without disrupting so much as a petal.

Butterflies are focused, yet relaxed; instinctive, yet intuitive; alert, yet fearless. Butterflies remind writers to lighten up, enjoy the process, and celebrate every satisfying sip of nectar. Writers sometimes forget that the quality of the journey matters as much as the successful outcome. And yet, when we enjoy the journey, the whole process becomes a win, not merely the outcome.

Butterflies are helpful symbols for writers, who can become too mental in our habits and lose touch with our instincts and intuitions. Ideas do not flow for writers when we get in our own way. We sometimes need to be reminded to keep things simple.

I wanted to create a course that would make essay writing simple, straightforward and doable, yet also alluring, magical, and powerful. The way a butterfly can remind us to stop, pay attention, and appreciate a moment more deeply, I hope I have encouraged writers to relax, reflect, and enjoy the process of essay writing.

So you can probably expect to see more butterfly imagery in my upcoming essay writing courses! I am fond of the reminder that creative confidence is as calm as a butterfly and I hope you appreciate it, too.

Go easy on yourselves, writers, and be amazed at how much more you are able to get done. Be like the butterfly: lighten up, tune in, and get on track for your next completed mission.

If you’d like to discover a whole new, more doable approach to essay writing, you will find it in my Effortless Essay Writing course.

So much inspiration, so much time! Visit my online creative confidence school and start expressing yourself afresh right now. Join the creative confidence club: subscribe to the Christina Katz blog and sign up for The Prosperous Creative ezine for a free gift, the latest news and exclusive discounts you won’t find elsewhere. Need more encouraging words in your life? Check out my Etsy shop. And have you seen all of the helpful offerings in my online shop? Be sure to check them out before you click away. Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing my work with all of your creative friends!

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I am pleased to be able to offer a few discounts in my online school this month and next for eager learners, who don’t stop taking classes just because the temperatures go up.

These are bulk discount deals—either get three classes for the price of two or get ten dollars off when you purchase two writing prompt challenges.

The following specials are running until midnight August 31st!

Three For Two Article Writing Classes Summer Special
Three For Two Platform Building Classes Summer Special
Two Summer Writing Prompt Challenges For Ten Dollars Off

Learn more about these courses in my school, and while you are there, check out my newly updated FAQ page.

I’m always working to make your experience in my school better and better. Please let me know if you have any questions about taking classes with me or becoming a Beta User.

Becoming a Beta User is currently the only way to save on individual courses. In my last ezine, I announced my next two courses seeking Beta Users. Click here if you are not already a subscriber and you would like to become one.

My next two courses are…

Expressive Outdoors (Follows Expressive At Home)

&

All About You: Personal Essay Writing Assignments (Follows Effortless Essay Writing)

Learn more about what’s coming up and register as a Beta User by reading my last ezine that went out a few days ago. Click here for all the latest news.

I hope your summer is going great so far, but don’t stop learning. My online school makes it easy to always be creatively inspired, expanding and prospering. I hope you will check it out today!

So much inspiration, so much time! Visit my online creative confidence school and start expressing yourself afresh right now. Join the creative confidence club: subscribe to the Christina Katz blog and sign up for The Prosperous Creative ezine for a free gift, the latest news and exclusive discounts you won’t find elsewhere. Need more encouraging words in your life? Check out my Etsy shop. And have you seen all of the helpful offerings in my online shop? Be sure to check them out before you click away. Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing my work with all of your creative friends!

~ Photo by Jiří Wagner on Unsplash

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Now Seeking Beta Users For Effortless Essay Writing: My Newest Online Course!

I love working with Beta Users. Every time I launch a new course it feels like virtual summer camp to me.

Here’s how it works. I say, “I have a great idea for a course, and I need a group of interested students to help me focus and perfect it.”

I put out a call for help and then Beta Users sign up for the course at half-price. They exchange their time and energy answering four rounds of questions about the course topic spread over one month for a 50% discount. That’s a pretty great deal, considering the low level of commitment and the fact that Beta Users learn things about themselves in the process.

I’ve gotten pretty good at asking questions over the years. I’ve taught dozens of courses and workshops, and they have all involved participants answering questions about themselves. Whenever you answer a question about yourself, you can’t lose, because there are no right or wrong answers. I value what I glean from your insights and experience, so that I can better meet the needs of students in the course.

So thank you to those who have been Beta Users for my courses. I have also not forgotten about all the awesome students who have been first time users in my old email classes and online challenges. You guys all rock and I appreciate your willingness to try new things and share your opinions and points of view so willingly!

I am still accepting Beta Users for my next course, Effortless Essay Writing, Enjoy Crafting Prose Until It’s Publication-ready.

Both returning and new students are encouraged to sign up as Beta Users. Once you register, I will get back to you within 24 hours with your first round of questions to reply to within 48 hours.

Here is an initial course description, which is subject to tweaks as I work with Beta Users:

Effortless Essay Writing: Enjoy Crafting Polished Prose Until It’s Publication-ready
By Christina Katz
An Interactive Audio Course With Worksheets

Essay writing shouldn’t be a struggle. Are you ready to learn how to enjoy writing every single essay you ever attempt for the rest of your life? Using the tips and techniques in this course, you can. The focus of this course is on getting in the essay writing flow and staying in it until your piece is complete, personally satisfying, and professionally viable. After taking this course, you will find yourself finishing and submitting your writing with renewed confidence.

In Effortless Essay Writing, you are going to write an essay from start to finish and I am going to walk you through the process using short coaching audios and step-by-step worksheets to accompany each learning module. By using this new format that is specifically customized to help you learn writing techniques, I can keep the focus of the class on you and your essay ideas and unique writing style. So you can feel like the learning process is totally manageable.

You’ll be able to adopt these techniques easily into your essay writing process because the format of the course is so incremental and easy-to-navigate. Essay writing should be enjoyable and it can be when you learn the techniques seasoned writers use to brainstorm ideas, capture their personal stories on the page, and polish their prose until every word is necessary, compelling and transporting. Here’s a sneak peek:

Introduction To Essay Writing
Get Ready To Write Essays
Generate Compelling Topics
Study Publications You Admire
Serve Readers Using Fiction Techniques
Draft Detailed Moments
String Together Scenes
Create A Moving Story With Contrast
Identify The Primary Conflict And Resolution
Craft A Beginning And Ending
Title Your Essay
Apply The Theater Of The Mind Test
Correct Common Mistakes
Thank You For Taking Effortless Essay Writing

I’m on track to create a new course each month for the rest of the year. I hope you will join in the fun!

This offer will expire at midnight on June 23rd. My next online course and call for Beta Users will be announced on Saturday, June 24th.




So much inspiration, so much time! Visit my online creative confidence school and start expressing yourself afresh right now. Join the creative confidence club: subscribe to the Christina Katz blog and sign up for The Prosperous Creative ezine for a free gift, the latest news and exclusive discounts you won’t find elsewhere. Need more encouraging words in your life? Check out my Etsy shop. And have you seen all of the helpful offerings in my online shop? Be sure to check it out before you click away. Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing my work with all of your creative friends!

Now Seeking Beta Users For Effortless Essay Writing: My Newest Online Course! blog post by Christina Katz

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How To Go Positive When Everyone Else Is Going Negative blog post by Christina Katz

Staying positive when surrounded by negativity is a real challenge. Luckily genuine positivity comes from within and is a choice not a reflection of outside circumstances.

Yet these days, we have negative messages bombarding us from the media, people reacting to negative things they read and hear and see in the media, and folks who seem to have their dials set on negative with no interest in shifting their attitude.

I think it’s helpful to acknowledge negativity coming at us. Just as it is helpful to acknowledge our own negative feelings. Just as it’s helpful to say, I feel angry, I feel sad, I feel depressed, etc., it’s also helpful to say, Wow, the news is really dark today, I think I’ll focus on happier things, or I refuse to participate in hate, no matter how much a person seems to deserve it, or That person is toxic to me, so I need to stay away from her.

This kind of truth-telling flies in the face of if-you-don’t-have-anything-nice-to-say-then-don’t-say-anything-at-all politeness pressure. I’m not saying you have to spout your most intimate truths from the rooftops, but if you don’t have someone to confide in, pressure is likely to build up.

When we are less than honest about how we are impacted by our environment and others, we can’t help ourselves get to the higher ground we so desperately crave. And more genuine, heart-felt positivity is exactly what the world needs right now. It’s the only way we can offset so much negativity, and it’s also the only way to feel better ourselves.

Making ourselves feel better as soon as possible is the answer to creating a better world in the long run. I know it seems counter-intuitive, but it’s the only path to happiness and joy, which we have a right to regardless of how others choose to behave.

So how can we stay positive in negative times? Here are a few tips:

1. Keep in touch with how you feel. Notice if your energy is going up or down. Let your emotions be your barometer that determines how you act. Happier and more joyful means you have a lot to offer. Discouraged and overwhelmed means self-care is needed.

2. Don’t follow the crowd. Others may believe that watching news all day and reacting to every little thing that happens or may happen is the only appropriate way to behave. But you know yourself best. If tracking the current news and participating in public debates make you feel wretched, you don’t have to do it. If you can’t stay informed and take excellent care of yourself, then you need to be less or at least less frequently informed. Try backing off and see what happens to your energy.

3. Move in the direction of appreciation. What do you appreciate? Appreciation and gratitude are different. You don’t have to actively thank anyone with appreciation. You can just sit quietly and gaze at a single flower. The appreciation is the action and you benefit from it without anyone else being involved. If your appreciation moves you to gratitude, go for it, but remember, you are always entitled to a few moments of appreciation for its own sake. And if you don’t feel like taking grateful actions right now, appreciation is still valuable in its own right.

4. From appreciation move in a more positive direction for you. Sometimes it’s hard to switch gears from negativity to positivity without a pause in between. Let your genuine appreciation help you shift away from what feels bad and towards what feels good. The movement does not have to make logical sense, just go with what feels best. For example, don’t call back the demanding person who left a message on your cell phone. Let them wait. Instead do ten minutes of watering the garden, and then from there, pick a task that sounds good to you. Maybe preparing a healthy lunch is what you need. Do what you need and let everyone else take care of themselves.

5. Stay in the positive zone. The world is full of happy, heart-centered people. If you want to be happy, too, you’re going to have to stop hanging out with negative types and go find the positively focused folks. They are your tribe. Besides, you can’t change the negatively focused folks and there is no point in trying. If you have been taught that your role in life is to please others, you have to recover from that in order to find inner peace. You can start your recovery by eliminating toxic people from your life and keeping only relationships that feed your soul. When you expect positive people to come to you, you will start attracting them into your life.

6. The goal of life is sharing your gifts with the world. But if you can’t cut through the noise to find your gifts, then you can’t share them. Be willing to become an apprentice of a larger vision of yourself without hype or pressure. I see a lot of motivational coaches getting carried away with this message these days. But there is no rush. Your life already has good timing and when you pay attention to it, you will know what to do and when.

7. Get the help you need when you need it. I wish all of what I am suggesting was easy all the time. But the age we are living in can certainly be trying sometimes. Do you need an influx of more positivity? I offer courses for creative types who want to develop their self-confidence so they can express more of who they really are in the world. My goal is to create a safe space for personal growth that is satisfying and fulfilling in its own right and leads to natural increases in personal power from start to finish. If you are feeling tossed on the waves of the current cultural climate, I hope you will check out my school and take a course if you feel moved to enrich your life.

8. The next time you have the option—and you always have the option—express the positive thought, not the negative one. Every time you choose to share something positive, you make the world better. Every time you choose to share something negative, you make life harder for everyone. Nobody wants to feel like part of the problem. We all want to be part of the solution. But the bottom line in every moment is: you are either choosing to be positive or choosing to be negative. So what’s it going to be?

So much inspiration, so much time! Visit my online creative confidence school and start expressing yourself afresh right now. Join the creative confidence club: subscribe to the Christina Katz blog and sign up for The Prosperous Creative ezine for a free gift, the latest news and exclusive discounts you won’t find elsewhere. Need more encouraging words in your life? Check out my Etsy shop. And have you seen all of the helpful offerings in my online shop? Be sure to check it out before you click away. Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing my work with all of your creative friends!

How To Go Positive When Everyone Else Is Going Negative blog post by Christina Katz

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Does Your Home Reflect The Real You? It’s Easier, Less Expensive & More Fun Than You Might Think

May 23, 2017

Expressiveness begins at home. It has to. Home is the place where we feel the most safe, secure and relaxed, or at least it’s supposed to be. And yet, it is so common to delay creating our fully expressed home until later. We’ll do it later, when we have more time. We’ll do it later, […]

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Launch Date For Expressive At Home Moved To Friday, May 19th

May 13, 2017

I am moving the launch of Expressive At Home to Friday, May 19th. I need more time, and I realized too late that my launch date choice would preclude me having a relaxing Mother’s Day. (Oops!) Of course, I want the course to be the best it can be, and delaying a few days will […]

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Don’t Miss Your Chance To Get 50% Off Expressive At Home

May 9, 2017

I have been working hard on my new online course, and I am super excited about it. And then something hilarious happened. I thought I would be sharing things I already know how to do because they are working for me in this course. And I will! But what’s amazing is how much my home […]

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Make A Bigger Impact On The World By Becoming More Expressive At Home

April 18, 2017

We are living in challenging times. Every day our senses are assaulted with crisis after crisis, and the overwhelming question we feel bearing down on us is: what are we going to do about it? Unfortunately, living in a state of constant crisis is unhealthy. This type of stress is hard on our minds, on […]

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Do You Have A Secret Garden? Now You Can Create Yours From Scratch

April 14, 2017

How many of you have read The Secret Garden (LINK) by Frances Hodgson Burnett or watched the 1993 film with Maggie Smith (LINK)? I had an epiphany after watching the movie with Samantha over spring break. The premise of the story is so simple, and yet so profound. Here’s a summary from Amazon: Mary Lennox […]

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Real Life Recommendations: Turn Up The Heat In Your Home With Items You Will Love

April 8, 2017

Even though it’s already April, I have a fire in the wood stove right now. And even though we have had a handful of beautifully spring-like days, we just had one heck of a hail storm and it almost got down to freezing last night. Chock it up to Oregon’s temperamental spring weather! That in-betweener […]

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