Creativity—Keeping it Pure

ACFW Advice, Authors and writing, Encouragement, Faith, Friends of ACFW, tips, writing 28 Comments

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?

  1. Nourishment: What nourishes creativity?
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Exercise: Physical and Creative
    1. Physical. Experts agree that physical exercise is helpful to the brain. Also, a walk outdoors does much to encourage an appreciation for creation.
    2. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

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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.




Comments 28

  1. Thank you. I am going to pass these thoughts on to my son-in-law to share with my granddaughters. They are a family that oozes creativity. They love The Lord and your thoughts frame this God given gift to us so well.

  2. Excellent thank you for sharing. Keeping it pure also seems to me to include the purity of the message, story etc. not getting distracted by things not in the “pure” story or topic.

  3. Some will say I’m a creative,
    though that word’s in disfavour here;
    if we keep it all relative,
    I’ll write a sonnet, have a beer,
    then then look back on what I wrote;
    sometimes, I’ll say, it is quite good,
    but sometimes as written by a goat
    in contrary bilious mood.
    But what the hey, it’s fourteen lines,
    and those fourteen, dude, I can spare,
    so there’s neither need nor time
    for tearing handfuls of my hair.
    I’m doing all of this for fun,
    so I’ll just write another one!

  4. Thanks for that pearl, Andrew! I particularly loved “but sometimes as written by a goat in contrary bilious mood.” Goat and bilious are a match made in heaven. Thanks for the read!

  5. Brilliant! I’m bookmarking this. I may even print it out and hang it up. You made me think and consider.
    About graciousness and envy: As Christians, we are on the same team. So wisdom says we need our teammates to play their best so that we can all win the game. Wisdom also says we each must play the position God has given each of us to play. Envying someone might cause a person to stop playing their position–discount and give up their unique vision and skills. What a mess then! The whole team would be in trouble.

  6. Hi, Nancy. Thanks so much for stopping by and reading this blog. I loved your insights, especially: “So wisdom says we need our teammates to play their best so that we can all win the game. Wisdom also says we each must play the position God has given each of us to play.” Wonderful. Thanks again for your encouragement.

  7. Hello Dear Friend.
    Thank you for your words of wisdom. You truly inspire and I’m so grateful for your gracious words. Keep them coming. Perhaps another daily devotional. Hugs

  8. Thank you Terri G. for these words of inspiratiotion and creativity and food for much thought and contemplation. I am so blessed by the gift that is you. Shalom-Shalom.

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