Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Creativity and Discipline

I think God is trying to get this simple equation to sink into my head: Creativity without discipline equals frustration.

As I was getting ready for bed a couple weeks ago that statement came to me as I thought about how I wanted to change my habits in the new year. I'm the kind of person who is bubbling with creativity, sometimes it's hard for me to keep up with all the stories, poems, songs and drawings that pop into my head on a daily basis. I keep a pen and paper with me at all times so I can hurry up and scribble down my latest idea and if I run out of paper I won't hestitate on stopping to the closest fast food joint to get some napkins to write on. It's clear that I have the creativity part down, but when it comes to the discipline, let's just say I need some major help. When I try to do it on my own, the self-imposed discipline doesn't seem to last. But then it hit me: self-discipline isn't the focus, godly discipline is. When I look at Jesus and all the creativity and discipline He embodied while he was on Earth, there lies my answer...strength from God.

Titus 2:11-12 says, "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say 'No' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age."

Wordly passions aren't limited to getting drunk or dressing inappropriately, sometimes it's comes in the form of that nasty little monster called proscrastination. Being an unorganized proscrastinator is a disservice to the Gospel when God has given us the grace to be self-controlled. The scripture says God teaches us. That statement is amazing by itself and if you've ever had a great teacher in school who took the time to stick it out with you until you got or inspired you then you'll begin to understand the power of what God wants to do. But we have to be patient with ourselves, God didn't say we'll get the lesson in one day. The art of discipline can take time.

Discipline isn't a dirty word when it comes to creativity. Godly discpline doesn't stifle artistry, it stimulates it. Some of the best authors understand the power of when the two forces unite.

Now, creativity and discipline are finally learning to be good friends--at least in my mind.

Read L.Harris' take on Stephen King's advice for writers.


JediQB said...

This was a good, encouraging post there. I can totally relate. I'm going to link in a potpourri post I did today. When I get a chance, I'm going to add a permanent link to return the favor!


Nikki said...

These is choice advice for all artists. We should see discipline in a positive light, instead of seeing it as some kind of creative impediment. Rather, we should rejoice in godly discipline, knowing that the fruit of it will enhance our creativity and make it accessible to the world!

SolShine7 said...

Thanks Jason. I'm glad you found it encouraging.

Nikki, you're right on. Thanks for visiting my blog.