by Terri Gillespie
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1, TLV
Creativity. Taking nothing and making something.
Albert Einstein said, “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” I love that. The Creator of the Universe—our Heavenly Father—sure has fun with creativity. Look at the giraffe.
What is amazing as writers, authors, artists, musicians, and those who live in the world of imagination becoming reality, is that we share a part of our Father’s essence. Think about that, He entrusts us with a tiny spark of the extraordinary. The spark that generates the “what if.” The “what if” becomes a story with characters as real to us as our neighbors—maybe more real.
A former boss of mine has written hundreds of songs and released fourteen albums. We were discussing his process for writing songs. He believed creativity comes from the heart of God. And, as a sacred trust, we must keep the creative process pure. Decades later and I still work to keep the process pure.
How do we keep Creativity Pure?
- Nourishment: What nourishes creativity?
- Rest and Sleep. If God thought it important to create a whole day (Genesis 2:1-3) and eventually a festival each week for rest (Leviticus 23:1-3), I would say it’s important. Our brain will thank us.
- Clean “Food.” The new Clean Food trend isn’t new. Eating food in its natural, unprocessed form is better for us. What we “digest” emotionally, physically, and spiritually influences our creativity. Books, magazines, movies, television, music have “ingredients” which are either nutritious or junk. Eventually, we are what we eat.
- The benefits of fasting for physical and spiritual wellbeing are Biblical and scientific. A way to keep creativity pure is to fast from activities that distract us. Technology, social media, cat videos, movies, television, and so on.
- Gratitude and Humility: Being entrusted with a tiny part of our Father’s character is heady stuff. Remembering that we would not have this gift were it not for Him should keep us humble and grateful.
- Inspiration: Since our example for Creativity is the Creator, getting to know Him and the long history of His followers seems logical. Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, so many beautiful examples of inspired creativity worthy of study. Spending time each day in our Father’s word helps us get to know Him, and those who did—and didn’t—keep creativity pure.
- Exercise: Physical and Creative
- Physical. Experts agree that physical exercise is helpful to the brain. Also, a walk outdoors does much to encourage an appreciation for creation.
- Creatively. Experts agree that writing exercises of some sort are helpful in keeping us open to new inspirations. Some writers use Pinterest, choose a random word in a book, or step outside their medium and try another artistic form, like coloring, painting, sketching.
- Graciousness: The opposite of envy is a gracious heart. Envy and jealousy pollute the purity of creativity. Let’s be real, when others pass us by in the publishing process, it’s difficult to smile through our own disappointment. But we must push through to support our peers and not allow jealousy inside us.
- Appreciate the Process: I sometimes forget that how I arrive at the destination, is more important than getting there. In other words, the business side of publishing can cause us to forget why we write. If we’re doing it right, our creative journey will always include lessons in gratitude, patience, and joy. Let’s not forget the joy.
There was a time when followers of Jesus were the innovators of literature, science, art, philosophy—all the disciplines “experts” now declare us as ill-equipped for today. Rather than being followers of the world’s creators, let’s align our minds and hearts with The Creator.Creativity is Intelligence Having Fun @TerriGMavens #ACFWBlogs #writetips #ACFWCommunity Click To Tweet
Terri Gillespie is VP of the NWGA ACFW chapter and strives to keep creativity pure. Her first traditionally published book was Making Eye Contact with God—A Weekly Women’s Devotional. She’s won various fiction awards and, by faith, appreciates the publishing process. Member: ACFW, CAN, AWSA.