German organist and composer George Frideric Handel lived in England for most of his life and had a career writing music for celebrations, musical productions, and worship. One of Handel’s most famous works is Messiah, a long oratorio about the life of Christ that includes orchestra, chorus, and solos. Perhaps the most familiar song from Messiah is “Hallelujah Chorus.”
Handel wrote Messiah in just 24 days, in a room alone. One day, as a servant placed a tray outside the door to the room where Handel had sequestered himself, he overhead Handel exclaim, “I did think I did see all Heaven before me and the great God Himself.” At a time when there were no movie theaters, televisions, DVD’s, or streaming video, God gave Handel a mental vision that sparked his creativity and inspired him to write Messiah.
Any creative endeavor begins with vision, not only for the finished product, but also for the methods of implementing and achieving the end result. If you have a creative vision, but can’t focus enough to gain insight on implementation, the chances of reaching your creative goals are probably slim. While vision is a huge part of the creative process, nuts-and-bolts practical application brings the vision to fruition.
In order to spark creativity and discover or utilize your talent, you may need to experience various forms of creativity via observing the works of people who are masters of their craft. Most people want to experience immediate success, but you’ll never excel at anything without learning the basics. Musicians have to master note values, chords, and rhythm. Architects and builders need to know engineering concepts and mathematical calculations that keep structures from falling down. Artists must learn the foundational elements of color and shading. Writers and speakers have to study grammar basics, story structure, and communication skills. While it may seem boring at the time, learning the basics is necessary to boost creativity and master skills, even if you have talent.
Discipline and Practice
Discipline is one of those things we’d rather sidestep, but discipline is a key component of creativity. Writers must continue to hone their craft. Musicians, even good ones, need to practice. Painters, sculptors, seamstresses, or woodworkers try new techniques and materials. Creativity hinges on continued learning, discipline, and practice.
J. S. Bach was a master at stretching creativity and employing discipline. He wrote a new hymn or cantata each week for the Lutheran church during the 1700s. A goal or deadline forces discipline, sparks creativity, and makes us use our talents more.
When you gain creative inspiration, don’t wait to act. Part of the creative process is obedience to the vision God gives you. If you don’t act, the inspiration may disappear before you capture it. As a writer, I know if I don’t capture the concept and at least make notes for implementation right away, often, I lose some of the best elements of the idea and the enthusiasm for following through.
Are you hampering your own creativity? Consider the following creativity blockers:
Fatigue – Exhaustion hurts creativity. When you stay busy all the time and don’t rest, your mind isn’t as sharp and you aren’t as productive. Creativity thrives during times of rest and quiet contemplation.
Comparisons – Often we lose forward motion on creative ideas because we second-guess our abilities and compare our ideas to the accomplishments of others. But comparisons are a dead end. No one else has your exact creative vision so don’t get sidetracked by the success of others.
Technology – While technology provides many advantages, it is also a huge distracter. Social networking, texting, all types of screens and assorted entertainments, rob creativity and circumvent the practice and discipline necessary to strengthen talents and enhance creativity. Talent is a gift and God is our main source of creativity and inspiration. So thank God for the creative ideas and talents he’s given you, and faithfully use them to benefit others and glorify him.
“I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom and skill, in understanding and intelligence, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship, to make artistic designs for work in gold, in silver, and in bronze, and in the cutting of stones for settings, and in the carving of wood, to work in all kinds of craftsmanship.” Exodus 31:3-5 AMP
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving beyond difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House) and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).
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Amen. Great message.
Comparison can be a killer! How many people have ideas but they fear exposing themselves to critique or criticism? How many ideas don’t get shared because the person thinks “What if?” or “If only?” Great reminder to take the risk to be open to something less than perfect!
Thanks for reading and commenting, Erin.