Tag Archives: Writing

Once Upon A Time

heart shaped book

As many of you know that read my blog or Face book each week I have been working on a book. It doesn’t start with Once Upon a Time but it is a book that I hope will inspire others and has a little romance in there too. This process all began when my husband, Milo, joined a mentorship program so that he could focus on what he wanted to do and at the time he thought that was art. The only problem with his decision was he wasn’t thinking about his Multiple Sclerosis affecting him at random times throughout this year commitment.

As he was having difficulties with remembering to do the weekly assignments of watching videos, doing homework, listening to conference calls and watching interviews with others that were successful he asked for my assistance. I put on my weekly calendar when he needed to schedule to watch or listen to these wonderful, positive insights. I found myself looking over his shoulder if you will to listen in on this information.

This mentorship program was asking all the right questions, making you think about what it was you truly wanted to do with your life and what vehicle you wanted to do it through. It didn’t matter if you wanted to be a chef, musician, artist, writer; screenwriter, photographer, sculpture, wood worker or what have you. It was all to encourage those that were creative to stop talking about what they wanted and start doing what they wanted.

At first I focused upon my photography as I truly enjoyed taking pictures and trying to capture the beauty around me when I went anywhere. Then I went to a conference with these enthusiastic, positive, encouraging people and decided that photography though I love it, wasn’t the true place I wanted to throw my creativity at this moment. Then writing began to be my focus.

I had already started this web page and began showing off some of my photographs, writing my weekly blog posts and finding that what I was writing was more important to me than even my photographs. It allowed me to feel I could make a difference in others lives by sharing hope and giving a voice to what I had to say, giving my thoughts, encouragement and inspirations from living my life.

With that I started writing a book and I though at times this process has been one of fear, I have overcome those fears to continue on this process and not quit. The rough draft of my first book is done and now I’m in the editing phase. I can honestly say that through this process I have grown as a person, have gained confidence in my talents, and myself and though I have much to learn still, I look forward to the challenges ahead.

Soon I will be setting up my author web page and hope that you will choose to join me there as I move my blog to that website. I will continue to share my photographs as it’s still something I love to do and write my weekly blog as it gives me joy to write them, I will just be moving to my Lisa Ballan author website. I have already created a Lisa Ballan Author page on Face Book and you can always follow me on that too.

My point for this blog is to let you know of some changes ahead as I transition to my new focus but that I hope you will join me too. I also want to encourage you that no matter your dream there is always a way to begin by taking one small step and focusing on that small step each day or each week. Eventually you will get to your destination if you don’t give up. Hard work isn’t easy, but it is rewarding and being diligent with your schedule to push forward is always key to achieving any dream. You can do it too.

Leave a comment below if you have pushed for a dream or goal and succeeded. I’d love to hear what it is you are doing and how you did it. Share this with anyone you feel could benefit from this post. Have a blessed day!

Posted in Blogs, General | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , Leave a comment

Be Still and Listen

A Sunning Lizard

A Sunning Lizard

Do you know how an animal tells if there is danger around them? They become still and they listen. This beautiful lizard was enjoying the sun when I saw him and with my presence became very still and just waited to see if I was a danger to him before he made a choice to move or not.

We can learn a lesson from one of God’s creatures that is as small as a lizard. When you are feeling worried, not sure if there is danger around you, uncertain of a challenge, other people, an opportunity the best course of action is to be still and listen. You can learn much if you just focus on remaining quiet, keeping an open mind and just take the time to listen to what message God is trying to give you.

The sound of the wind can bring a message, the singing of a bird, the buzz of a bee and even sitting quietly alone while your family is sleeping and just listening to what God is trying to tell you. Working late or getting up early before the hum of your household begins is a great opportunity to just listen. Sitting down to journal and just letting the thoughts come to you naturally and writing them down can be a comfort, can help you work something out you have been thinking of but you have been avoiding a real commitment of time to think it through.

Take time to listen and be still for amazing things can come to you in those moments. That great idea that will allow you to start your own business, that concept for a book you have been toiling over or helping someone that you haven’t seen in a while. It does not matter how small or large, how elaborate or simple, it only matters that you listen and then take action once you know what God has been trying to get you to focus on.

These moments can help relieve stress, help clarify an issue in your life, help solve a problem at work, give you the guidance you needed and most importantly help you listen to God. Give it a try and see what being still and listening does for you.

If you like to be still and listen in a certain way then please leave a comment below and share this with anyone else you feel would enjoy this blog post. Have a blessed day!

Posted in Blogs, Nature | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , Leave a comment

A Second Opinion

Take off your blinders and get a Second Opinion!

Take off your blinders and get a Second Opinion!

They tell you when you get diagnosed with a serious illness to go have a second opinion to confirm the diagnosis or treatment for that illness. I have found the same is true when you are struggling with life, goals, dreams, the future, the past, the present and anything else that you are stressed about with your life. That second opinion is usually a close friend, a relative or even a counselor or pastor. These opinions can also come from mentors or someone you consider a confidant.

We all make BIG decisions in our lives, what career, what home, the size of our family, health issues, and helping our parents that are elderly. Then there are the deeper passions in our lives; what is my purpose, how do I reach my goals, why does it feel like all I do is struggle without success? We all feel these questions at various times in our lives. Even with a plan sometimes things change so drastically that you aren’t sure of your real dreams any longer.

Recently, a mentorship program I am part of asked a question that I found very profound and life changing, here it is; what would you do if you won the lottery and all your financial matters were taken care of? Would you travel? Would you take photographs? Would you paint? Would you become a chef? Would you write? Would you film movies? What is the one thing you wish to do in your life if money wasn’t an issue?

For me that is writing and taking photographs. These are deep passions that I have put on the back burner telling myself I would get to it eventually when things slow down. I’d like to ask you, when does life slow down? It’s not happened for me, so I was beginning to feel that these deeper passions weren’t meant for me to accomplish. This is when that second opinion came in handy for me. It was a way to give yourself permission to be yourself and do what you really want to do.

At times I am also the close friend that gets to listen to someone else’s dreams, problems, excuses, or whatever it is at that time. I get to give advice based on what they are telling me through fresh eyes, a different viewpoint. It’s enough to allow the other person to think and refresh there own thinking and drives for their life. Don’t hesitate to ask someone for there opinion. Sometimes you are living life with blinders on. You only see what is immediately in front of you and thinking outside of the box doesn’t happen for you.

You need to take your current schedule and find a small amount of time here and there to start working towards those passions you have. You might need to give up TV shows, meeting with friends each week to just hang out, or you get convinced to do some project or participate in some event that really isn’t something you want to do because your dreams are real and worth fighting for, just for you.

We go in early and stay late for our jobs to earn the money we need to live, why not wake up early or stay up late for just an hour a couple times a week so you can work on your own dreams? When are you going to tell others ‘No’ and start saying ‘Yes’ to yourself?

Start thinking about what you truly want. What would you do if money no longer worried you? Sit down and look at your weekly schedule, how can you put in some time for your own true passions? All it takes is one step forward each day. That step can be as little as 30 minutes a day it’s still moving forward. Give it a try and see where you are in six months.

Leave a comment if you have found your passions and have begun to spend time towards them even if they are baby steps. Share this with someone else that you think is struggling with the same issues. Have a blessed day!

Posted in Blogs, Inspiration | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

Overcome and Do

Overcome & Do (ACT) Action Changes Things

Overcome & Do (ACT) Action Changes Things

I recently heard my mentor talk about what have you overcome that was holding you back from doing your goals and dreams? He also said will you be in the same place at Christmas of this year that you were last year? Well, both of those questions are quite poignant and must be answered with honesty.

To start with I have overcome a couple things in the last year that were major hurdles for me that I didn’t even realize were until I just started working towards my goals and dreams. One of those hurdles was myself. I was someone that thought positively until something went wrong and then it was ‘whoa is me’ for a while and then time would pass and nothing would have changed due to that attitude. You also tend to ask ‘why’ a lot when you are like that.

The other statement, will you be where you were last year at the end of this year? No, I will not. I have learned that the art of doing changes everything in your life. Those goals or dreams start looking within reach because you are doing things to move yourself forward towards them. These two questions caused me to reflect and I can honestly say that I won’t be where I was at the end of this year compared to last year.

Here are some steps I took to make a difference in my life.

  1. I focused on what I was truly passionate about…my photography and my writing. I didn’t allow other things to sneak in there and cause me to divert my attention to them.
  2. I wrote down a list of what I needed to do for each area and began doing tasks to move me forward. (Such as this website for my photography.)
  3. I began doing. Writing isn’t something you say I want to write a book and you just sit down and are done in one session. Writing 100,000 words for a book takes time that you have to be willing to commit to each day of each week even if it was only 500 words.
  4. I took my calendar of an already busy schedule and planned in times to take photographs and planned in my time to write. My family, were aware of these times and were helpful to keep me on task when things ran over into my time.
  5. I learned that even if I didn’t feel creative I went and worked on my goals anyway and while in the midst of starting I would find inspiration to move forward and make true progress.

Accomplishing a goal or dream doesn’t take just thinking about it, you have to actually do something. Decide what you wish to do and create a list of what it will take and begin doing. You will be excited with your progress, you will be doing instead of talking about it, you will inspire others that are close to you to know that these dreams are coming true for you. Turn your 80% of dreaming into 80% of doing and only 20% of dreaming and life will become what you have always wanted it to be.

If you found this blog helpful then please share it with your friends or loved ones that could use similar inspiration. Leave a comment below if you have a method you use that helps you reach your goals and dreams.

Have a blessed day!

Posted in Blogs, Inspiration | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

A Journey of a Creative

Various products I have worked on in the last 28 years through my career as a graphic designer.

Various products I have worked on in the last 28 years through my career as a graphic designer.

Good day everyone. I thought I would talk about how I got started at being a creative. When I was young I always loved music, art, dance along with many other things that were creative but I didn’t get into being a graphic designer until I got married and was looking for a job. I started off at a newspaper that did things the old fashioned way with paste up boards and cut out letters, borders and other graphics. That was a fun job because the newspaper had to do with horses and I love horses.

From there I moved to designing kits for a housing development. I did the layout for the housing specs to purchase a home, the layout of the home and any and all materials that people needed to decide if they wish to buy the home from this developer. This too was a pretty cool job because I got to see the houses they built at the time which were for retirees.

I took a break from this type of work to have a baby girl that is now 24 years old. Once she was two years old I got a job at a game company, Westwood Studios (which was bought by Virgin Games and eventually Electronic Arts), and that was a pretty awesome job. I worked with the producers of the games to create marketing materials to promote the game along with game boxes, manuals and anything else they wanted to include for gamers. I did a newsletter for the company that we sent out to those that signed up from the games purchased.

I moved on to a printing company that did several of there own tourist magazines for the Las Vegas area as well as took on other magazines to be printed. I handled preflight of those magazines to check them for problems before we created the films for the printer. Eventually the company designed a magazine from scratch for Nevada Woman and I got to be part of that team. It was high pressure with deadlines but also a lot of fun.

In 1995 I decided I could do this type of work on my own and created my design company. I took on various small jobs for a while so that I could spend more time at home with my daughter until she went to school. We then moved to Pahrump, NV and I did the stay at home wife, mother role until 2000.

I had the opportunity to be a part of creating a magazine for tourist in Las Vegas called Vegas Visitor. That magazine was produced weekly and I was able to work that around being a wife and mother. In 2001 the same publisher decided to take over a magazine called Trip Sheet Magazine, which is a transportation publication for those that drive taxi’s, limos and shuttle buses in Las Vegas. This publication was a monthly one and so I was doing five magazines a month all from my home. We utilized email, phone calls and regular mail to get things back and forth. It was a busy time but it was also a fun time. I felt energized by producing so many publications each month. Eventually, the Vegas Visitor publication was dropped because it wasn’t producing enough revenue, which left me with the one publication that I still work on monthly even today.

While working as a graphic designer I also began taking photographs more as a hobby and to experiment with my camera when advertisers needed something for an ad. I got the opportunity to video half a dozen weddings and take the photographs for two of them. I enjoyed that because I was creating memories for others on that special day. Video editing turned out to be a lot of fun and something that wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I now dabble with that from time to time but no longer do wedding videos. I decided photography was more my thing and now focus on the things I love, which are my daughter, pets, wild life, flowers and landscapes.

My husband and mother-in-law are both artists and due to that I opened a gallery in 2006 in Pahrump. We had 800 sq ft of space but I managed to construct walls and an arrangement that allowed us to have over 200 pieces of artwork from local artists as well as my husband and mother-in-law in the gallery. Due to unforeseen circumstances with the building we had to close just a year later. Then the economy took a hit and it was not something the town could support so I did not reopen it elsewhere.

Another great opportunity presented itself when I was asked to write a column in the magazine I was working on. That turned into two columns each month and I have been writing in the publication for a couple years now. Guess I can say I’m published. Writing for the magazine made me realize I enjoyed writing along with my photography. I’m now working on a couple books around my other obligations.

These are just the highlights to my life. All of these baby steps have guided me to where I am today. Now I have my own photography site and images to share with others that I hope will inspire and bless each person. 2015 promises to be a more productive year with new photographs available to be purchased and the books I am writing completed and published.

I could say I was lucky to fall into such great jobs to develop my creative side, but I like to think God had a hand in conducting my life to where it needed to be. Thank you for reading! Have a Blessed Day!

Posted in Blogs, General | Also tagged , , , , , , 6 Comments