The Bereshit Bara Creativity Series asks 13 Creatives to wrestle with how they make the first move, write the first word, fling the first brush stroke, peel back the first layer of clay? What inspires them, what moves them, what drives them? I’d also like to hear from YOU. Send me your thoughts or a link to your post wrestling with these questions at email@example.com.
If you comment on today’s post you will be entered into a drawing to win Tyler Braun’s debut book Why Holiness Matters. You have until Friday to enter and I’ll announce the winner over the weekend.
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Those of us who write know the awful feeling of staring at a blinking cursor on a blank page. For those who paint, it’s the bristles of the paintbrush sitting in the paint while staring at a blank canvas. For those who write music, it’s the fingers resting on the keys of the piano waiting for inspiration to come.
I liken it to staring out into the empty expanse of the desert. We see seemingly no life. Everything around us is dead.
Something I can only describe as God-breathed or magical (depending on your worldview) happens between the blinking cursor, my rising pulse, and the finished product of beauty.
I could write about the four principles that drive me from beginning to end, but those principles won’t work for you. We love to create a formula for creating. The problem is each of us was made differently. We each have different passions, desires, and experiences. Why is it that we then try to formulate overcoming the blank page into tried and true principles and action steps? We should know better.
Here’s the reality I’ve come to know about creating out of emptiness: It takes humble submission.
Creatives don’t need more confidence or more inspiration to do the work. Nope, creatives need humility in order to create well.
Somewhere in the midst of the blinking cursor and my rising pulse I have a moment of clarity when I realize I’m incapable. I cannot do this creation on my own. I do not have the ability. My own worldview informs me that it is the God inside of me who begins His inspiring work once I’m able to get my own arrogant agenda out of the way. Why must I learn this lesson over and over I wonder?
In the creation account found in Genesis 1, God has created much of the world we see around us, even the cosmos our own eyes cannot see. He made it and called it good. But the work continued on as God created Adam and Eve.
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness.” (Genesis 1:26)
Think of the implications of this as it relates to our own ability to create:
1) We are created in the “likeness” of the Creator.
2) The same creative power that breathed the universe into existence lives in us.
We could translate Genesis 1:26 by saying God created us to be His “icons” or reflections or windows. We were made to point to Him.
So what does any of this have to do with overcoming the blank page? Everything.
As we lay down our own agendas and our own creative arrogance for the sake of serving the Creator we have an opportunity for Him to work through us. We were made by Him, with His creative imprint, to go about our lives creating for the sake of our Creator.
Between the blinking cursor and the finished product is the place where we humbly sacrifice ourselves for the sake of becoming people the Creator can use in order to create through us.
True creation comes through no other way.
Creatives need to humbly submit themselves to the Master Artist.
Tyler Braun is a 27-year-old INTJ living in Portland, Oregon with his wife Rose. He works full time as a worship leader, while also finding time to study at Multnomah Biblical Seminary in pursuit of a masters degree. Tyler’s first book releases in August of this year through Moody Publishers and is available for pre-order now. You can find Tyler on Twitter, Facebook, or his blog.