Monday, June 24, 2013

Creative Best Series: Eight



Annette M. Irby
Happy Monday writers! We’ve spent several Mondays delving into Galatians 6:4-5 from the Message Bible, and we’re nearing the end of our series. Today, let’s look at the next portion of our phrase from last week:

Each of you must take responsibility  
for doing the creative best

When are you at your best? First thing in the morning? After the kiddos are down for the night? Right after your day job? Or maybe before? How about Saturdays? Or Sunday afternoons? Maybe at 3 a.m. when everyone else is asleep?

Our critique group has just changed to an earlier time so we can hopefully better serve each other. We used to meet late on Mondays. I don’t know about you, but after a full day of work, or family, or anything, I can be rather fried by the end of the day. So, since many of us were feeling that way, we decided to give late morning a try. Hoping for clear thinking so we can be most effective.

If you don’t already know your own most creative hours, I recommend trying different times until you find it. When you discover it, put it on your calendar. Ask for help from your family to guard the time. And try to finish other tasks ahead so you can zero in.

Permission

I once knew an author who, because of her day job, had to be very intentional about scheduling her writing time. But just because the time was scheduled, didn’t mean she always felt free to use those hours for writing. If, for example, there were other tasks that needed doing (because she couldn’t do them during her workweek), those took priority. Blogging, e-mails, errands.

She worked most creatively when she had full permission to do so, even from herself. Does that sound familiar? I’m like that. If there are errands or other obligations, it is very difficult for me to give myself permission to get lost in my fictional world and write.

Writing Takes a Backseat

Why does writing sometimes slip down the to-do list? During this series on being our creative best, we’re giving ourselves permission. Say this aloud: I give myself permission to write. And I take responsibility to be my creative best.

If you’re like me, you can be creative in a few different ways—maybe in painting, sketching, crafts, scrapbooking, sculpting, music, writing, poetry, songwriting (some of these are applicable to me, some not so much ;-). And you could take those artsy endeavors in a few different directions. For example, you could paint something that glorifies God or something that doesn’t. But what glorifies God, lasts forever.

Our church believes in creative worship and encourages folks to glorify God during our worship services through painting or dancing, in addition to singing along. Then, the large canvases are put on display, sometimes for weeks. Left up to glorify God and to show that worship can be expressed in many ways.  

It's about Doing

He gave us creativity, it’s up to us what we do with it. We have an invitation to commit to pursuing God’s best in our use of His gifts. That’s what will last eternally. That’s what will minister to the most people.

That’s how to be our creative best.

~~~~~

Annette M. Irby has two published books and runs her own editing business, AMI Editing. She is also an acquisitions editor for Pelican Book Group. See her page here on Seriously Write for more information.

6 comments:

  1. Such a great post, Annette! It's hard to give myself permission to write when I see so much that needs to be done. Thank you for reminding me that we're invited -- even called -- by God to do this.

    Love the idea to schedule our writing time and really love this: "I give myself permission to write. And I take responsibility to be my creative best." That's going on a sticky note.

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    1. Yay, Angie! Here's to more productivity. :D Honestly, I think all those doubts we have (or the lack of permission, or maybe even procrastination) is the devil trying to keep us from our work. ;) Write on, my friend!

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  2. I've always said I'm a ten a.m. to three p.m. person. If you need it before or after, you take your chances. :)

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    1. So good to know that about yourself, Sandra. :) At first, when I read your comment, I thought it said 10 PM to 3 AM. Haha! I'm not a whole lot of creative at that hour! ;) Write on!

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  3. Hi Annette, I didn't give myself permission to write, seriously at least and to finish something, until the kids went off to college. One of my editors said she doesn't let herself do any social networking or emails until she's written for two hours. Great advice I've yet to take LOL.
    Excellent post!

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    1. Thanks, Tanya! Isn't it the truth? Family pulls on us. FB pulls on us. ;) I hear that. This permission issue is central. Once we master it, productivity kicks in and then we might just surprise ourselves with our creativity. :D Keep on writin'!

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