Stories of faith, life, and love

Tag: creativity

Unmotivated in Uncertain Times

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting worn down with all the restrictions and changes going on in our lives right now. I’m not scared or worried. What will happen, will happen. I’m not obsessively cleaning every surface in my home. When I have to get out for groceries or other supplies, I don’t dress in a hazmat suit.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not ignoring restrictions and getting together with friends. Like you, I’m finding creative ways to connect. Just last week, the couple my husband and I usually watch wrestling with group texted our way through Wrestlemania. (Yes, I watch wrestling. And no, that’s not my point.)

I’m following guidelines as well as anyone else whose job has been deemed essential. Besides, I like alone time. It’s not a hardship for an introvert to be home. And my family has been blessed with the continuation of our jobs up to this point. Some of that is changing but not as drastically as it has for other people.

Until today, my schedule hasn’t been all that different. I’ve even had more time at home since weekend activities have come to a halt. I should be reading and writing more than ever. This should be a time of creative abundance for me. I’ve often wished I could dedicate more time to my writing. Now, I have it.

Guess what?

If I believed in such a thing, I’d say my muse has fled. My enthusiasm and drive must have gone along for the ride. I’ve read but not enjoyed it. I’ve written only what I’ve had to. I just haven’t had it in me.

What is wrong with me?

In addition to a little extra time to write, I’ve had a few things happen that should energize me more for creating. My first book was on sale for free for a few days, and I “sold” more than I expected. That’s a lot of new people reading what I’ve already written. New people who’d never heard of Faith’s Journey before.

Grasping Hope is on blog tour with Celebrate Lit. In the last several days, I’ve received some great reviews. One person even reached out to me in a more personal way to tell me what the book meant to them. As a writer, there isn’t anything more encouraging than that. You can check out the reviews and enter the giveaway here, https://www.celebratelit.com/grasping-hope-celebration-tour/ .

Still, as I sit facing my blank computer screen, the will to write is not there. It has dissolved in the face of all that is going on with Covid-19. I may not be worried about the virus, social distancing may not bother me, and my finances may not be suffering with the changes. But my job has changed.

I am not an overly scheduled person, and I tend to go with the flow. I do, however, like to settle in and it takes a little time for my body to adjust to new schedules and routines. From the day all this Corona virus stuff began, my work has been in constant upheaval. Every day the procedures change. Every day something new is expected. Every day as a non-people person, I’m expected to people with people who are afraid and stressed. It takes a lot out of an introverted person, and the time off I get is not enough to make up for this new drain on my energies.

I’m trying to make myself do what I can. I have a new book coming out in June, and I’m working on the final round of edits for it. I try to blog at least once a week. I attempt to keep up with social media. But it’s a constant battle, and I could really use normal right about now.

I know and look forward to the day when my struggles are more routine. One day my muse will end its hiatus, and the next season of my writing will begin. Until that time, I’m open to suggestions. If you’re a creative type, I’d love to hear how you’re doing with all this. What tips and tricks have you discovered to keep creativity and production high?

What I’m Reading: A Rush of Wings

I’m crafty. I admit it. And I’m not a simple one type of craft kind of crafter. I am an equal opportunity crafter. Pinterest and our local Hobby Lobby are a dangerous combination for me. All it takes is a cute pin, and I’m game for trying a new crafting medium. Yarn? Check. Paper crafting? Check. Soap making? Check. The list goes on and on. But it really isn’t about making crafts. It is about creating, and that can be done with craft projects, music, food, photography, writing, or any number of other pursuits. To make something new from the individual parts, to make something beautiful or playful or thought provoking, that is the whole point. There is something relaxing and satisfying about the creative process.

The professor in Kristen Heitzmann’s A Rush of Wings sums it up well when he describes to Noelle St. Clair what he saw when he watched her paint. He tells her he saw more than mere technical proficiency. He saw “someone in love with the beautiful” who sought some piece of the human spirit and maybe even the divine. This woman was on the run from her fiancé, the guarded life her father provided, and memories she couldn’t quite piece together. She fled to a completely new environment and way of life. She struggled with those around her and with herself. But in the midst of chaos and emotional fragility the heroine of the story turned to creating. True, she ended up selling some of her work, but that was only because her circumstances demanded it. She created because she couldn’t do anything else. And giving in to the creative process was a first step in doing exactly what the professor said, finding a piece of her spirit and a little more about God.

Why wouldn’t creating bring us closer to God? God is the one who invented the creative process, and when we do the same, I believe we can understand Him better. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) God took nothing and made everything we see and the things we can’t see. In fact, as beautiful as our world is now, it is a shadow of what it was in the beginning. Before the fall, everything was perfect. How much more beautiful would our world have been in its perfect state? I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been like. God looked at everything He created and saw that “it is good.” I don’t know if God sighs, but if He does, I can imagine He breathed the most satisfied sigh as He considered all He made. It was complete. It was perfect.

While the results of our creativity will never be perfect, we can still appreciate their beauty and the satisfaction that comes with creating something. And in the process we may also learn something about ourselves and about our creator God.

By the Book: Everyone can find some way to exercise their creativity. Whether it is creating a new recipe, painting a masterpiece, writing a poem, or making a wreath, take time to create something this week. If this is too daunting, find an adult Bible verse coloring page to print off the internet. The act of choosing which colors will go in which area is basic creativity. Before you start your project, read Genesis chapter one for God’s creation story. Pray and meditate on it as you work on your own creative project.

© 2020 Heather Greer

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