Creativity is too often considered an elusive commodity locked behind the doors of inspiration. No inspiration, no creation. But that’s not the case. The key that unlocks the door to creative output is simple faith, and plain hard work. I say hard, but it’s not really once you get in the groove. The hard part is getting over your false perceptions and taking hold of reality by the horns. Taming that unruly beast to serve your purpose. Then it becomes easy, a natural outflow of internal reality.
The Power of Simply Believing
I am a writer. I have always written, but my mindset was that “one day” I would be a writer. Internalising your creative identity and purpose is one of the most important steps you can take in your journey to success. So long as we simply hope to be an artist, a musician, a singer, a writer, the goal remains just beyond our grasp. We live toward rather than from who we are created to be.
Identity is something we live from not to. “I write because I am a writer”, not “I am a writer because I write”. You do not have to convince yourself, simply accept your call. It sounds easy I know, but this process can be the hardest mountain to step over, because it puts our heartfelt desires on the line.
Know this. You already have everything it takes to make a successful living as an artist.
Consider the following truth from Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church…
Since we are now joined to Christ, we have been given the treasures of redemption by his blood – the total cancellation of our sins – all because of the cascading riches of his grace. This superabundant grace is already powerfully working in us, releasing within us all forms of wisdom and practical understanding.” Ephesians 1:7-8 PROMISE translatio
Take a moment to breathe that in. Superabundant grace empowering you in all forms of practical wisdom and understanding.
Grace is God’s empowerment to prosper and succeed in every area of life. It goes beyond your talents and your personality. It removes roadblocks and comparisons. Grace fills the gaps, ends the arguments, stills the fears and says, loud and clear, “You can do this!”
And seemingly such empowerment is not in short supply.
Embrace your identity as a creative Christian. Understanding that you are not alone, and that your purpose is bigger and more robust than a fleeting dream or hope. Faith gives substance to hope and acts, knowing that the deed is already done, that the papers are signed, and no devil in hell can stop what God has decreed.
Papa is pouring out practical wisdom and skill. Your job is not to generate creativity. Open your hands, heart and mind and receive it. A gift of grace.
Do The Work
Success certainly does not happen by accident. It is the result of daily disciplines, disciplines that become habits, that become a body of creative work worthy of attention. The hidden iceberg of practiced art that no one sees often undergirds the pinnacle that the world experiences. Your daily disciplines, resulting from identity naturally producing, will form habits that serve your ultimate purpose.
You need to reach people. Lots of them. But the avenue there may be lonely at times.
Papa God has designed things in our unparalleled generation whereby a global audience is not an impossible dream, it is a very present possibility. Never before has “reaching the uttermost parts of the earth” been a more startling and attainable result. As soon as I press publish on this article someone on the other side of the planet can be reading in seconds. When in history was such a miracle made available? It is a creative revolution that breaks limitations.
But words that are not written, pictures that are not painted, songs that are not sung? 100% certain, reach no one. They do not even stretch to the page or canvas, never mind the world.
Go beyond discipline and make your creativity a habit. Every single day make it your habit to create. No excuses, no diversions. Don’t fret that your creative output is not perfect. Just do the work! Be who you are in public. Practice in public.
Inspiration is drawn up when the creative waters are flowing. But you have to prime the pump. Draw up what’s already on the inside and you will be amazed at what’s already there, just waiting to be expressed and take form.
This article did not begin as a fully formed idea, a 16 point perfectly considered argument. In all honesty, it began as a decision that today’s words would find their page and be published.
As as you lay aside your need for perfect conditions, unhindered inspiration or whatever other excuses I imagine not to act, you will discover a new found freedom. Do the work of an artist, regardless of reasons not to.
Don’t Judge Yourself
One recurring issue that I face even today is the expectations I place on a particular piece of work to be received in a certain way, and it is not. The article or book or song you fully expect to go viral receives no acclaim. The blog you began does not work the way you had hoped it would to garner an audience.
Let me bring you in on a secret. So what?
So what if your daily output is not yet recognised? So what if your present audience is minimal?
Dont be phased by the journey. Papa is forming your character through this process. Your part is to develop a body of work worthy of attention. At the right time one word from heaven can shift the gears. The important thing in the early days is to just turn up. And keep turning up.
Consider your apprentiship a downpayment on the prosperity you will enjoy.
And in your turning up, in your being who you are regardless of present circumstance. Learn.
Don’t just wait and hope and wring your hands. Look at other successful artists in your sphere. What are they doing that reaches the audience and gathers the readers? What elements of their system can you incorporate?
Don’t ever feel guilty for wanting to make a handsome living with your creativity. Stop that religious crap! What artist can live and have an impact while they worry about paying the bills or feeding family?
I pray that the light of God will illuminate the eyes of your imagination.” Ephesians 1:18, PROMISE
Let the Holy Spirit not only infuse your actual works with His presence, allow Him to direct you in practical wisdom how to sell it!
Understand that reaching an audience is the end game. A writer needs a reader. A singer needs an ear.
There is nothing wrong with beginning with this end in mind.
What do people want to read? What music are people’s hearts relating to? God’s superabundant empowering grace will help you understand how to package your value in ways that speak clearly to the world. Don’t sell out to the lie that selling creativity is selling out.
We want to make money. We want to prosper. We want the liberty and freedom that prosperity affords so we can make more, create more, add more value and help more people.
Believe today for the eyes of your imagination to be enlightened with possibilities, and fully expect Papa to hand you practical blueprints to make them come to pass.