Well friends, I am excited to tell you that my little interview feature – Faith, Art, and Motherhood (aka At the Intersection) is BACK! I cannot wait to share all the interviews with you and to gleam wisdom and encouragement from each of the amazing gals who have agreed to let me pick their brains a bit.
Today I am excited to be hosting the lovely Courtney Walsh as we celebrate her new book release – Paper Hearts – just in time for Valentine’s Day!
Courtney is one of those gals that I became friends online and who I have leaned on from time to time for publishing and speaking advice, as well as friendship. I so love her giving heart, her honest courage, and her willingness to share her stories with the rest of us. In addition to being a mom and a writer Courtney is also an artist, an actress, and small business owner. I am so proud of all she continues to accomplish and cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of her latest creation!
Name: Courtney Walsh
Blog Name: Telling Stories
Art Form I’m a writer
Kids Ages: 13, 11 and 7
Relationship Status: Married
Other Job(s) besides blogging/creating:My husband and I own a performing and visual arts studio in Rockford, IL
Expression of Faith – Non-demonational Christian
Where Do You Live? – I live in a house in Rockford, IL 🙂
How did you find your creative niche? Was this something you have always done, or did you fall into it by accident? I actually studied acting in college, so my writing began with writing for the stage. After I graduated, I did all kinds of writing (articles for newspapers, magazines and wrote a couple of scrapbooking idea books) but I love telling stories, so it was a natural progression to try my hand at writing novels.
Where do you create? Office? Kitchen table? All over the house. Mostly I write curled up in a chair in my front room, but I wrote almost my entire first book at the local Barnes and Noble.
Do you create best in solitude or in the middle of chaos? Lately, in the middle of chaos but with headphones on. I have a Pandora station with instrumental movie soundtracks…it’s a must. 🙂
How does your faith influence your creative process? I think it just naturally flows into everything I do. My characters are often learning the same faith-based lessons I am. For instance, Abigail (in Paper Hearts) is learning about trusting God and surrendering the desires of her heart–both things I find incredibly difficult to do. I feel like if I can weave faith-based truth in to a story, maybe it will reach the reader’s heart in a way they aren’t expecting.
How does your creative process influence or enrich your faith? It’s so important to me to do creative things daily. Whether it’s painting or writing or even just dreaming with a pen in my hand, it helps me figure out what I’m thinking. Sometimes I don’t know until it’s written down. I feel like it’s a really important aspect of my faith, to be able to express myself creatively.
Sometimes I feel as if writing, parenting, and the practicing my faith are all drawing from the same well inside me, that they tax the same part of my heart. This means that quite often I find that I have depleted all of my resources pouring into just one of the three, leaving the other two wanting. Do you have this same issue, or is it just me? I think this is the constant struggle. Something always feels a little off-balance. I find myself scrambling in domestic chores more often than not and I fail to really tune in where it matters more often than I care to admit. I’m learning (slowly) not to be so hard on myself. Do what you can and give the rest to God.
What do you do to recharge, or refill the well,
In your creative process? I read. I veg out by binge-watching television shows with great characters. I walk around Barnes and Noble with no agenda.
In your parenting? If I say “lock myself in the bathroom” will you think less of me? J/K. I get out for a night. With my friends or my husband. I think sometimes you just have to step away to really be your best.
In the practicing of your faith? I listen to worship music. I think this is the thing that draws me closest to God the fastest. He always seems to speak to me most clearly in the midst of worship.
Do you have any advice for other mom’s out there who are also trying to learn how to live out their callings as artist, mothers and followers of Christ? What is something you wish someone had told you earlier on? There’s no perfect time to go after a dream. It’s like having a baby–you never feel “ready.” There’s no such thing. So you put the wheels in motion and make it impossible for yourself to back out. It’s amazing what greatness shows up when you have a deadline.
What are some specific challenges you are facing right now in all three of these areas? For me, it’s time management. I have a book that just released, three kids and a husband who need me and a production of The Wizard of Oz, which my husband and I are directing, to open next weekend. It feels like a lot. It’s overwhelming most of the time. But yesterday God reminded me of that old hymn, “I need thee every hour” and when I listened to it, I realized that he’s never left me before…why would he start now? So much of what I’m working so hard at requires total surrender…and that’s one of the hardest things in the world for me!
Easter is coming up – are there any practices or traditions surrounding Easter that you celebrate at home with your kids that you would encourage other parents to try? We really don’t have a lot of good traditions for Easter (or any holiday, really).
How can I, and my readers, pray for you? Mostly, I need to keep my eyes on Jesus and off myself. All of my worries and anxieties appear when I make this life too much about me. I would love prayers that my book and show would go well and be yet another testament to the goodness of God.
Make sure to visit Courtney’s blog and enter all the AMAZING give-aways she is hosting to celebrate the release of Paper Hearts.
And make sure to watch the adorable video she and her husband Adam star in. Seriously adorable.
Didn’t I tell you?
Much love friends!