Creativity - What a Rush
We were challeneged over at Our Creative Community yesterday do devote a post to "creativity" this week. I thought this was a great idea, so here goes.
For me, the creative process is probably far less organized then it is for many. I have absolutely no success creating "on demand" as many people do. I know plenty of people who can sit down in front of a computer or a typwriter or with an instrument and say something along the lines of "Prepare to create... create!" and have at it like theyre making an omlette or something.
For me, the muses come at the most inopportune times. Sometimes when I'm driving, or in a meeting or working. The first song I ever wrote, I wrote during a sermon in church. There I was listening when - pow! - the chorus came to me. I started jotting in the margins of the bulletin, and before the sermon was done, the song was complete.
Usually things come in a rush. So I've learned one thing. Let it come. Wherever I am, I need to be ready to be in for the long haul. There are times when I've been up to three in the morning writing a sermon, because the inpiration came at midnight. Once I wrote almost an entire Christmas cantata script in the middle of the night. I wrote a song once during a lunch break at a weekend encounter. It just happens.
Here's my basic process for any kind of creativity: I let the ideas tumble out and write them down. For me, writing them down is key. The order doesn't matter. Then I read it over and over, try to make sense of it. Same goes for music. I'll pick up a guitar or sit at the piano, and keep playing the same passage over and over until it sounds right. For me, I need to get it in my head, it needs to be part of me, if that makes any sense.
Sometimes I'll let it sit for awhile. My first song wasn't really fleshed out and recorded for six months after I wrote the first draft. I've written sermons weeks before giving them. Sometimes coming back to something after a while gives you fresh eyes.
What am I working on now? Let's see... I'm working with my worship team on an album, and I've been doing most of the arranging. I'm finishing up a sermon that I will be giving on Sunday. I just finished redoing the websites for both of our children's ministries, and I am currently redoing the website for our church. I have a couple of songs kicking around, all in addition to the weekly task of writing lessons for two different children's groups.
The hardest part for me is always starting. Just sitting down saying "I need to create now." But once I start - man, what a rush.