I read a post on creativity written by Rebecca Barlow Jordan. I found it inspiring and asked Becky to share it here. -- Sandy
Rebecca: In our culture of instant gratification and easy publication, creativity in writing may suffer. Here are three ingredients that contribute to successful, creative writing:
Just as in life, creativity in successful writing includes all the seasons: spring, when ideas bloom; editors love your writing; you sign contracts; and readers buy your work. Patience includes waiting (and sometimes wading) through all the seasons of writing.
Then comes fall, a time for change and reflection, “breathing in,” so you can experience the harvesting of ideas and “breathing out” later. Writing also includes winter, a season to let your ideas simmer, and maybe even die, so they can spring up later with “new life.” And then follows summer, a time for resting, or even celebrating the successes God has given.
Then what is the season for actual creative writing? It’s always the season for creativity. Writing is not just pounding out 1000 words a day to reach a goal. Successful creativity involves all of the above “seasons.” Pause. Rest. Reflect. Breathe in. Breathe Out. Write. Rewrite. Celebrate. Pause, Rest…Writers with no patience may try to circumvent a season, but few realize the fruits of their labor without them.
Persistence is similar to patience, yet different. Waiting sounds more passive. But persistence infers action. While “waiting,” write something new, or rewrite what you’ve already written. Never give up on a good idea, always editing, reorganizing, changing it in some way until it’s marketable–if possible. But when your creation needs a funeral, bury it and move on.
Some writers wait for inspiration to hit before writing. That’s not the kind of patience I referred to earlier. Every truly good idea is God-inspired. We can do nothing of ourselves. But God usually gives us ideas in their raw form–like a lump of clay waiting to be shaped into something beautiful and usable–along with the skills or the help to accomplish that. Successful writers must work hard at their craft like anyone else.
When to write? Write now. Write with patience. Write with persistence. And write with perspiration. Notice I didn’t mention passion. That’s because in writing, passion is a given. I know of few successful writers who lack passion of some kind. It may be the need for expression, the desire for an audience, or the dream for fame. Everyone can express themselves uniquely. Some will gain a hearing. A few will taste fame.
But those who write with “fire in their bones,” like the passion of Jeremiah, are the ones who “can’t not write” no matter how many rejections they receive. Fueled by a cause, a message, the sheer beauty of creating, and the Supreme Author Himself–to these, passion is not an option or a key. It’s their motive. They may not achieve stardom, but they understand that true success is simply hearing God’s “Well Done.”
And after all, isn’t that what really matters?
“Do not neglect your gift…Be diligent…give yourself wholly…so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life…closely. Persevere…” 1 Timothy 4:14-16, NIV
*Rebecca adapted and condensed this post from her blog at http://www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com/three-keys-to-success-writing/
What season is your creativity in? Have you employed the patience, persistence, and perspiration needed to be successful with your gift?
Persistence paid off for Rebecca Barlow Jordan. In her first attempts at writing (greeting cards), she netted over 1000 rejects. She is now the author of 11 books and over 1700 greeting cards, devotions, and other inspirational pieces, including Zondervan’s Day-votions® series for women, as well as a writer for Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus devotionals for 2013, 2014, and 2015. Rebecca loves to paint encouragement on the hearts of others and does that weekly at her website and blog, www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com/blog. As a minister’s wife, mom, and grandmom living in East Texas, she is also a passionate follower of Jesus. Rebecca enjoys gardening and reading good fiction, and she is currently working on her first novel.