Love him or hate him, the cool thing Monk always did was be true to his own style, music, and playing. Any other thing that came of it, was just gravy.
We live in a time where every thing we create, be it a song, a blog post, a painting, a book, or even a meal HAS to be for "the greater good". Now this can mean we are creating it for some lofty purpose like a worshipful tune for God, or more likely, we are sitting down to make something that we hope might SELL!
Either one of these is dangerous and has the possibility to completely wear us out. We go over and over a song, a phrase, a section, or a process, but never get the piece just right. We start to think this will NEVER please God, or do what it needs to do to be effective for the Kingdom. No publisher will EVER accept this song or book because it doesn't hit that certain genre just right, or follow the rules exactly.
This is where it can really get in and mess with our heads. This beautiful creative thing we are trying to make, drives us CRAZY! We end up stomping off in disgust wondering why God gave us this creative desire in the first place.
Taking Advantage of Holiday Limbo
Around this time of year, as the holidays come and clients wane a bit, I have always delved into my own creative worlds. I play more. I write more. I explore more. All on purpose, for no reason than to please my own creative senses.
I try to stay away from thinking of what the world will think, or how the works might do commercially. I just make sure that ERIC likes them; that they bring me happiness. I don't need anyone's approval, comments, or criticism. This is pure creative time to revel in.
It's hard to do this, especially when we spend all year trying to either get paid for the art we make for ourselves or others, or get feedback on how it can be made better for more "success". But it's important for US to like what we are doing.
This is very hard to teach, but it shouldn't be. Artists should live first and foremost for the way their creative work makes them feel. That gets so easily lost in our jobs as music artists, songwriters, producers, players, designers, authors, ministers, etc. Every artist or person I meet wanting to make art their "life", tells me that music, art, gear, film, graphics, writing, painting, gaming, or addyourowndreamhere is what they live for.
But they spend so much time fretting about how they will get where they want to go, and worrying what others think about what they are doing (or not doing) right, they forget Job #1: enjoy the gift that God has given you. If you like what you have made, pursue it with vigor, and be proud of what you have created. Work harder than everyone else doing what you love, and you will succeed.
"If you are writing without zest, without gusto, without love, without fun, you are only half a writer. It means you are so busy keeping one eye on the commercial market, or one ear peeled for the avant-garde coterie, that you are not being yourself. You don't even know yourself. For the first thing a writer should be is -- excited. He should be a thing of fevers and enthusiasms. Without such vigor, he might as well be out picking peaches or digging ditches; God knows it'd be better for his health." - Ray Bradbury
So, go, create, play, enjoy, and with gusto!
Have a great week!
Eric Copeland is a creative whirlwind this week during holiday limbo, but he is also a producer, artist developer, and chief hoohah at Creative Soul, an Artist Development and Production company for creative Christian ministries. For more info check out http://www.CreativeSoulOnline.com