There is creativity hidden in all of us! We were created, and we can create. As a musician, I have heard lots of people call me creative all while using self depreciating humor to say they “don’t have creative bone in their body” or “one single creative brain cell.”
Maybe it’s a mistaken notion that creativity is only for people who paint, draw, or sing. But creativity can surface as you solve problems, think of ways to entertain, ask questions, arrange or schedule people for maximum impact or any number of other things. Creativity can come in any line of work and life – building, teaching, parenting, cooking, selling, manufacturing, leading, speaking, and on and on.
I just read a little 140 page book my brother gave me for my birthday this month. It’s called Steal Like An Artist – 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon. (On Amazon new for about $6)
Here were three of the ten things that I highlighted about creativity:
Don’t Wait To Get Started
Sometimes, we think we need to have everything figured out before we begin anything. Maybe this is why some people don’t think they are creative. You don’t have to know who you are or your style before you begin. Much like a teenager blooming into adulthood, you are becoming who you are by what you try, learn, experience and do.
Just jump into something and it will begin to lead you in the direction that you enjoy and connect with.
Copy people – learn well from others. Mix up and remix ideas – there’s nothing new under the sun. Travel around to get out of your typical surroundings. Visit other parts of the country and world so your brain can work hard and speed up the creative process. Start with what you like to do and just jump in. Don’t worry about the final outcome. Just begin on something.
Geography Is No Longer An Issue
We live in an unprecedented time when it comes to global connections. A few months back, I met a musician / missionary through Twitter. We connected, visited and three months later, as he and his family were traveling through our area, we had lunch. We sang together, talked and prayed. The next Sunday morning, he played with our worship team and his wife sang during the services. He now serves in Mexico and we stay in touch through Twitter.
About a year ago now, we recorded some music at St. Matthew Church in Belleville, IL then shipped off all the tracks and met with the vocal team in Nashville, TN to finish the project.
None of our church media team staff have an office at the church – it’s all done remotely. We meet once a or twice a year and then over email.
You don’t have to be in the same room to work any more. Figure out ways to learn from people who are far from you. Listen to podcasts, watch videos, Google everything, and connect with the world for ideas. And experience creativity from all areas of the planet.
Be Boring To Be Creative
Living a life of creativity doesn’t typically come from the guy who burns himself out quickly – staying up late, parties, loose living and no discipline. Creativity for the long haul comes to the one who gets plenty of sleep, sticks to a schedule, has a job and opens space in her life to work hard with an uncluttered mind.
Figure out ways to decrease or eliminate debt. Once you are free from that type of bondage, you’ve freed up space to be creative. Soak time into your relationships so that you have a happy home and social circle. This will help you be creative for the long haul.
It’s the life without fanfare that typically yields the most creative fruit. Stick to your calendar, work hard, stay focused, love well and be smart. Set times in your schedule to plan to be creative, to work on your projects and to think.
I think Christians ought to be the most creative people! Use the gifts God has given you to enjoy life and do some creating.
12 Quotes From The Book:
“Creative people need time to just sit around and do nothing.”
“If you ever find that you’re the most talented person in the room, you need to find another room.”
“You don’t want to look like your heroes, you want to see like your heroes.”
“Pretend to be making something until you actually make something.”
“When people give you advice, they’re really just talking to themselves in the past.”
“The thing is: It takes a lot of energy to be creative. You don’t have that energy if you waste it on other stuff.”
“Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use – do the work you want to see done.”
“Your brain gets too comfortable in your everyday surroundings. You need to make it uncomfortable. You need to spend some time in another land, among people that do things differently than you. Travel makes the world look new, and when the world looks new, our brains work harder.”
“The best advice is not to write what you know, it’s to write what you like. Write the kind of story you like best—write the story you want to read. The same principle applies to your life and your career:”
“Your job is to collect good ideas. The more good ideas you collect, the more you can choose from to be influenced by.”
“In the end, creativity isn’t just the things we choose to put in, it’s the things we choose to leave out.”
“School is one thing. Education is another. The two don’t always overlap. Whether you’re in school or not, it’s always your job to get yourself an education.”