Monday, February 06, 2017

The Forgotten Why

“There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why.” – William Barclay

It’s easy when you are a creative person to get all caught up in the what, the how, and when, and the where. Where’s my next gig? What’s my next song or great piece of art going to be? How do I get a bigger audience? When will I get paid?

Believe me, I know because I live as a creative very day. I understand where these thoughts and anxieties come from. But as Christians, these gifts were not given to us to be used for profit or fame. These God-given gifts were given to you so that you could take out the Word of God to the world.

(Boy he’s really getting preachy, isn’t he?)

The Why

The reason I go into this is, especially as a music producer (and a music artist), it’s very easy to get lost in the minutiae, the emotion, and the business of making your art. People want things from you, expect things from you, and you spend a lot of time trying to think about all the whats, hows, whens, etc.

It’s also easy to think as artists and creatives that if we don’t make, perform, present, show, or put out new art to the masses, they may forget about us, or we may not survive financially. We know how the “business” of our particular craft works, and we are smart enough to know what we need to do to keep it all going.

There’s also the artistic part of this. That beautiful feeling when you finish a song, a painting, a story, or a project. You love to revel in it, be lost in it, and show it off. It’s like a drug.

In doing all those things it’s easy to forget why we are doing it. We are so used to just doing it, that we keep the “I’ve got to do it” blinders on. At least we are being true to the gifts God gave us by doing, right?

But we can lose site of the real reason why we are doing this. It was laid out pretty clearly for us.

“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:16-20

Yes, I may have used this before. I may have shoved the Great Commission in your face like a kid saying “See?” to prove this point. Only because…it’s what Jesus told us to do! Specifically! It’s why God gave us these gifts. It may not answer the how, the where, or the when, that’s up to us.

Our creative gifts are the what. But ministry is the “Why”.

Then the answer to “why” will lead you to clarity on all the other questions. What do you do? Make a product and get it out to the world. Where do you go? Anywhere people will listen. How do you do it? See What and Where. And the when is easy: it’s now!

“Whatever we do, we must not treat the Great Commission like it’s the Great Suggestion.” ― Charles R. Swindoll

Have a great week!


Eric Copeland is a little bit of a nagger to independent Christian artists and songwriters. He’s so pushy and preachy. But only because he loves them and wants to see them have success. If you’re interested in talking with or reading more about how Eric serves Christian ministries, start here!

“I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong – that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” – Romans 1:11-12

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Saturday, December 03, 2016

Just the Right Touch

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” – Mother Teresa

Sometimes, I find myself looking for just the right font, the right sound, the right way of saying something, or the just the right quote to drive home a point. It probably seems like I am wasting time, looking for something just right when I could settle easily. it may even look like I’m goofing off, trying font after font for the exact impact I need. Or I try synth patch after synth patch for just the musical effect I’m looking for.

If you’re an artist, it could be just the right color, or brush. For dancers it’s trying move after move, take after take to get it just right. For writers, it’s second draft, third draft, and endless revisions. Searching for just the right synonym to say exactly what you want to say…

me·tic·u·lous: adjective 1. showing great attention to detail; very careful and precise.

“Meticulous planning will enable everything a man does to appear spontaneous.”
– Mark Caine

Being meticulous can kind of make you look like a genius. Everyone sees the detail and the planning and thinks, “wow, he just made this up on the fly.” But you know it took a lot more work than that. It took study, and forethought, and deciding which color, which word, which instrument, to use.

pains·tak·ing: adjective 1. done with or employing great care and thoroughness.

I think creative people care to make sure they get it right. They care about little things that no one else would. A note, a rest, a sound, a line, a rhyme. These are the things we obsess over, and the things that end up making us stand out as artists.

punc·til·i·ous: adjective 1. showing great attention to detail or correct behavior.

Oh yeah, I totally searched and found this word. Something we don’t usually hear. In fact using this word illustrates my point exactly. I could have just gone with the first two, but I kept looking for a word that no one hears very much. Maybe it can be your word of the day! Stump your friends!

per·snick·et·y: adjective 1. placing too much emphasis on trivial or minor details; fussy.

Yeah, it can get tedious too, so you have to be careful. Actually, this is probably a problem that can get us creatives in trouble, when we spend too much time trying to get it just right. We can actually overindulge ourselves and run the risk of disconnecting our audience, or even never finishing because we keep worrying about small things people never see.

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” – Vincent Van Gogh

The most important thing is to never feel guilty for taking your time to get the little things just right. It’s what makes the difference between great artistic work, and just stuff thrown together.

Have a great week, Creatives!


Eric Copeland is a composer, arranger, producer, author, and other stuff that requires lots of teeny tiny decisions every day. And yes, he spent lots of time looking for just the right quotes, picture, and other minor details for this blog post.

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Sunday, October 02, 2016

Don't Just Dabble

“One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.” – Tony Robbins
dabbleIt’s easy to dabble in the arts. Maybe you paint a bit. Maybe you play the guitar a little. Maybe you like to write silly stories from time to time. But you aren’t sure, or have maybe never even dreamed, that you could be a “master” of some artistic pursuit.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Getting Paid for Creativity

Yes, it would be nice if making creative things automatically brought income, but it’s just not that easy. So if the stuff we make doesn’t make us a nice income, how can we afford to do it? How do we get paid for our creativity?
The Need to Create
“The artist produces for the liberation of his soul. It is his nature to create as it is the nature of water to run down the hill.” – W. Somerset Maugham
We have a need to create. We physically have to make music, or art, or write because we can’t keep it in. There is a drive to create. It is primal. And if you are reading this you likely know exactly what I mean.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Outside of the Limelight

“The limelight isn’t the only light worth seeking. Achievement is often anonymous. Some of the greatest achievements have been accomplished by people you've never heard of. Quietly dedicating their lives while improving your own.”

I have to be honest, this quote was in a TV show last week, but I thought it was great and it basically inspired this whole post.

We often think of the music or the art that we make as something to show off, or be at least known for. We think if we are that special, we must be headed for greatness, notoriety, and our time in the sun. But sometimes our creativity, our work, and our service are not meant for us at all. It’s meant for someone else, or everyone else, or perhaps just our serve to our Creator.

Sunday, April 24, 2016


"If your determination is fixed, I do not counsel you to despair. Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance." - Samuel Johnson

The following is a portion of "Five Music Lessons for Writers" by author and singer Louise Marley. I have been reading her books for awhile and recently looked up her site. Very good stuff for all creative people.


Someone has said that for a singer to succeed she needs the voice of a nightingale, the brain of an Einstein, and the hide of a rhinoceros. It’s a tall order, whether you’re a singer, a writer, a painter, a chef . . . whatever discipline (that word again) you pursue.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Why Bother?

See if this feels vaguely familiar.

You have this great dream, this big idea. This amazing creative thing that you really feel God Himself may have given you to do. You know you could do it well, maybe as well as anyone. You also know that it could be your life’s work.

But it’s going to take a ton of work. It’s risky, and there is no guarantee that it will even resonate with the audience you intend.

Now, for many of us, none of this matters. We jump in, we start dreaming, and we start to make it happen. But along the way, something happens. One day the mountain in front of us looks a little too high to scale. The odds seem too long. A wave of inevitable failure hits us and our shoulders sag.

What if nobody wants this? Why am I really doing all this? Isn’t there something easier to do?

Why even bother?

About the Author

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Eric Copeland is an author, producer, keyboardist, songwriter, and president of Creative Soul Companies. What is Creative Soul? Our main goals are to inform, encourage, and assist Christian creative folks in ministry, no matter where they are in their journey. Thanks for reading! Find out more about us at