Prayer, Creativity & Faith

Letter for the creative one who isn’t creating

This letter is for you: the creative one who isn’t creating.

Okay, so you haven’t written one word of your latest book (or blog post), performed a single inspiring song on YouTube, recorded a video encouragement, painted a single thing (not a rock or a wall or a canvas), made a single pair of earrings, shaped a beautiful piece of wood or pottery, performed a monologue, formed a mosaic, sewed a face mask, baked a yeast bread product, made essential-oil-infused hand sanitizer, cleaned out a closet, or even drawn on your eyeliner.

It’s okay. I’d go so far as to say it’s perfectly normal.

Because here’s the thing you need to remember. Creativity is only born in the middle or end, not usually at the beginning. It comes once we’ve felt the feelings, lived the tragedy, overcome the hurdle, had time to process, imagined the ramifications, felt the compassion, witnessed human suffering and triumphs, prayed the prayers, or thought through the process.

Go easy on yourself today. There’s still plenty of time. All the potential remains. The ideas still reside in that brilliant, beautiful head of yours. They’re slowly coming together, being built through the process of thinking, watching, listening, talking, imagining, dreaming, doodling, coating your planner with white-out, and sleeping. As you walk from room to room, never settling down to complete a task… As you start to walk the dog and realize you don’t feel like walking after all… As you pick up a book and move it to a new spot, as you open and close your prayer journal, as you rearrange your brushes or markers, as you open Photoshop only to click over to Facebook instead… you are still doing important work. Creativity cannot happen without some down time. Our brains need it. Our souls need it. And we have a lot of new things to take in.

You’ll know when it’s time to open wide the floodgates. I feel certain it will all come pouring out of you, a type of beauty that only you could have made. But first, it has to be ready. You have to be ready. You will eventually assimilate all that your senses have experienced. There will come a point when you have thoroughly considered the existential questions. Asked the scary ones. You will emerge from this gray space you’re wandering in, realizing you were never alone. Through it all, your spirit was being whispered to by the Original Creator. Your heart was doing what it was designed to do—loving, hurting, longing, wrestling. Beating. Preparing.

Because creativity comes from the overflow of our hearts. When the love is too powerful to contain, the grief too debilitating, the ideas too great, the world too lost—that is when we pour it out with an abundance of energy. Our fingers will fly across keyboards, and skillfully mix colors, and our voices will rise in songs of hope and endurance. Our souls will sing—whatever form of expression that might take—and people will be touched, and know they’ve been seen and heard, and the world will be made better because we took this time right now and saw it as the gift it is. You may not see results yet, but you are already well on the way to crafting the great things you were meant to create. The things that only you could make.

So, it’s okay, beautiful one. Let yourself relax.

Breathe.

Your time will come.

4 Responses to “Letter for the creative one who isn’t creating”

  1. Thank you for this Kelly. My creative juices stopped flowing back in October when a health issue became very painful. As I walk through the process of eliminating the pain, more pain is required. Then this social distancing, Covid 19, stuff happened. Making meals and cleaning them up, doing laundry and taking care of the chickens and fur babies are my daily great accomplishments. Praying has been a never ending conversation with God-mostly for others but sometimes, selfishly for me. Creativity has been at a stand still. I am going through motions clinging to Jesus, knowing this is temporary. It will pass and I will write, sew and create again. Thank you for reminding me that guilt has no place in this downtime. Love you sweet sister and know you are in my prayers!

  2. j bain says:

    Thanks Kelly for your kind words of encouragement

  3. Kelly O'Dell Stanley says:

    You’re welcome. Hang in there!

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