Some days when we wake up, the pressure feels like it’s floating right over our face. Before we even open our eyes and put our feet on the floor, we feel the pressure. We need our best ideas because this project is due today, we have this creative meeting to sit in, we have the responsibility to deliver on “amazing” and yet we feel so, so far from anything amazing. We want to roll over and hide in slumber, but our church is waiting on us to come in and lead the way toward innovation. Why do we feel this way?
I am a firm believer that creativity is a lot more muscle than it is magic. Sure, we all want it to be magic. We want to sit in vibe-filled coffee shops drinking Cubans and talking irony with our friends, and then ideas just appear. However, at least for me, that has never been the case.
When our creativity is stifled, the truth is there are probably other forces at work. The first and most obvious is that we did not keep our tank filled. As a creative individual, we have the responsibility to fill our tanks with the things that can keep us inspired. Reading articles, watching videos, listening to music, and being relentless at consuming art. If we are not managing our creative intake, we risk exporting more than importing. When that happens, we run empty. Be diligent to do the work that fills your creative bucket.
Also, sadly, getting comfortable often stifles our best creative endeavors. When we get comfortable, we lose our edge. We stop taking chances and living risky lives. Risk and chances grind against comfort and force us into creativity. I know it’s scary, but great art was never created in comfort.
Now, not every chance has to risk the entire organization’s future. Maybe it is as simple as making some changes in our process. Chance and risk motivate change, and change is healthy. Take a chance today. Change something. Make a move today that is uncomfortable for you, and then watch how it grows you as an artist.
So often the fuel that keeps creative people inspired is simply knowing that they are believed in. Because of this, leaders have to watch our belief tanks. If we are a leader and we are not keeping our artists’ tanks filled, we better change that fast. You can get creative people to run through a wall with you if they know you believe in them.
If as an artist your tank is empty and your leader doesn’t understand the importance of keeping your tank filled, you have to remember that you make art because that is who God created you to be. Your work is unto Him. Trust that He has your future firmly in His hand and that He cares about you passionately. You are enough and your best art has yet to be created.
Then some days, we just have to remember we #Get2 do this! No quitting, no excuses, no complaints. There are days we have to just choose to get out of bed and get to work. There are so many people that wish they had the opportunities as well as the challenges that you have today. In fact, they are praying that someday the problems you have are the problems they have. So let’s go!
There is a force trying to stifle your creativity, but we have work to do, hope to share, and grace to display. And we need you, your art, and your best ideas to make it happen. Today may just be the day you make the best thing you have ever created, but not until you go to work.