Sunday, March 03, 2013

That Special Freak

“I have spent a good many years since--too many, I think--being ashamed about what I write. I think I was forty before I realized that almost every writer of fiction or poetry who has ever published a line has been accused by someone of wasting his or her God-given talent. If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it.” - Stephen King

As creative people, it is easy to feel like we are weirdos. As Ray Bradbury put it “I am that special freak, the man with the child inside who remembers it all.” We keep and feed our inner child, the one who is not afraid to dream and play and sing and paint, instead of giving it up to the seriousness of life.

We let others shake their head as we proclaim we want to be musicians, or composers, or authors, or painters, or photographers. We let them tell us that we can’t pursue those dreams because it will never happen, or we can’t make a living at it, or we’re just messing around with unimportant things.

And many times it starts in our teenage years.

“By the time many people are fourteen or fifteen, they have been divested of their lives, their ancient and intuitive tastes, one by one, until when they reach maturity there is no fun left, no zest, no gusto, no flavor. Others have criticized, and they have criticized themselves, into embarrassment.” - Ray Bradbury

Or sometimes, it starts in our adult lives. We’re out of school and there is just no one around to tell us we are good, or to encourage us. We start a famnily or a job and creativity is a surplus frivolity we can’t afford. This is why when you take that art class, or writing class, or sing a solo for some function, and someone says “Hey, you are pretty good. What are you doing with this talent?”

We smile and kick the floor and say, “Aw, shoot, it’s nothing.” But inside we are shouting, “I KNEW IT!” We knew the talent was real, or is it? What if they don’t know what they’re talking about? Or maybe they were just being nice?

Then we think “But wait, they have heard others and then heard me, and they didn’t tell the others the same thing.”

It can sometimes be difficult to find the truth about the talents God has given us. Are we indeed “that special freak”? Or just an average talented someone?

That’s why it’s so important to get advice from someone you can trust. That could be a pastor, friend, or parent, but in matters of art, music, and creativity, sometimes we need a grizzled veteran in the exact artistic industry we are trying to excel in. Someone to be straight up with us and tell us the truth.

“We all need someone higher, wiser, older to tell us we’re not crazy after all, that what we’re doing is all right.” - Ray Bradbury

If you are at the place where you really just need to get a check on where you are with your talent, to see where you fit in the artistic field where you let your inner child play, then it’s time to act.

We can wait a long time wondering if we are “good”, or “worthy”. And we can mistakenly feel ashamed or lousy because of the people around us who don’t think creativity is something we need to be wasting our time on.

And sometimes it can be location. Perhaps there is just no one locally or that you know that you can go to. Look outside the box. Find that someone. There is this thing called the Internet…

“Where there is no guidance, a nation falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” - Proverbs 11:14

Have a great week!

Eric Copeland is the president of Creative Soul, a music consulting, production, and marketing service company in Nashville, TN, in association with Word Entertainment. If you are seeking someone to speak into your artistic talent, we’re just the special freaks to help. For more info check out

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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