I’ve attempted to write some this week, but every time I do I feel like I’m staring a hole in my computer screen. The challenge has been finding the inspiration within that I can wrap words around. I go through these phases fairly often and sometimes, like this week, it gets frustrating.
Then today I listened to a session David Crowder, a songwriter and worship leader, gave on the process of creativity. He defined creativity not as creating something from nothing, but rather as reallocating the resources we have before us. I had never looked at creativity from this perspective but it resonated with me. Pablo Picasso said that “art is theft”. The writer of Ecclesiastes noted that there is nothing new under the sun. Yet, here I am applying this unrealistic pressure upon myself to create from nothing. Crowder went on to talk about how he walks through life collecting inspiration and storing it in his heart so that it can steep until the moment it’s ready to emerge as a new creation. He’s borrowing from things already made. I really connect with that because that’s how my creative process usually goes.
Toward the end of the session, a statement he made hit me like a ton of bricks. “If you don’t consume, you die.” Boom. Everything clicked. I’ve been trying to create out of an empty storehouse. All my supplies have been used up and I have taken care to keep restocking the shelves within my soul. The times in my life when I’ve felt most creative and produced new art have been the times I’m replenishing myself with new ideas, experiences, and perspectives. Most often, I do this by reading…something I haven’t been doing much of lately.
Armed with this knowledge, may we all go out and create new things using the resources available to us. Let us observe life and replenish the shelves of our souls. We should deny the lie that we aren’t creative just because we may not be musical or artistic. We have all been formed in the image of the Creator and have the ability to create uniquely within our given talents, passions and experiences. The teacher that approaches her craft in a fresh way is just as creative as the artist that paints a beautiful picture. And you and I are just as capable.