The challenges and joys of being creative
Updated: Oct 13, 2019
Writers and artists, what does it mean to you to be a creative?
I've been thinking about the challenges and joys of being creative. Being a creative makes you a bit different from the crowd.
Something I hadn’t realized was that we think differently than many but surprisingly similar to one another. One day I was driving with a photographer friend. We had stopped at a stop sign, and there was a beautiful wooded area highlighted by a pool of sunshine on the side of the road. I instantly began stringing words together in my mind to create a description of the lovely setting. While I was pondering my depiction of the gnarled cottonwood trees surrounded by tall grasses bowing to the afternoon’s gentle wind, the photographer said, “How would I capture that light?”
Her question made me laugh. We were both processing the same view in respect to our different art forms.
Just the thought of starting a new project—whether it’s a writing project or simply refinishing a piece of furniture—is exciting to me. You get it, right?
Consider the fact that if you’re a creative person, it’s because God made you that way. So, remember, God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible. 2 Timothy 1:7 Isn't that a wonderful affirmation? Be bold in embracing your art.
Sometimes, being a creative can feel a bit overwhelming. Remember, creativity is a process, not a product. The act of creating starts before you sit down to write or pick up a paintbrush or a chisel or whatever you use to create your art. So, before you begin to create, remember, God is working in you, giving you the desire and power to do what pleases Him. Philippians 2:14 You're not it this alone!
One problem I have, and I doubt I’m unique, is having multiple ideas and wanting to do more than one thing at a time. That is a challenge because your focus can be divide. I've learned that you’ve got to determine to stick with one project until it’s completed. Hence: Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. ~ Calvin Coolidge
I understand the uncertainty of being a creative. We spend hours alone, working to a goal without ever knowing if the world will embrace our efforts (Will I ever sell this novel, painting, sculpture, etc.?).
If you’ve begun a project or you’re in the middle of a project, keep moving forward. Don’t compare your chapter one to someone else’s chapter twenty. Our output is different from someone else's, our productivity is different than the next guy's. That's okay!
Being a creative is challenging. Some days you’ll swim in a sea of doubts. Some days you need to give yourself a break and not work on your project. That's okay, and it’s important to spend some time refilling your creative well.
But, hang in there. Keep trying!
As for me, I don't know how my story will end, but nowhere in my text it will read, “I gave up.” ~Unknown