Saturday, March 06, 2010

the curse of creativity: all those voices in my head

I am creative.

It took me many years to discover this. When I was 13, I went from 29th, out of 29 students, in the compulsory music class at the start of the year, to 28th equal at the end of the year. Since creativity was linked to music and art, and at the age of 13 I couldn’t sing, strum nor draw, I realised I was not creative.

It took me many years to recognise I actually was creative, and to begin to re-right (pun intended) the voices in my head.

The realisation began to dawn as I began to write sermons. Firstly, I found I was loving the writing – the crafting of words, the building of rhythm – the creative task. Secondly, I started to realise the curse of creativity. When I started writing sermons too early, I kept wanting to fiddle, change, re-create them. They felt boring once they’d sat on the shelf for a day or three. Such was the curse, the need to feel my material was fresh, connective and so something I could get passionate about.

This week I am participating in Spirit of Wonder, what should be a great week that will mix multisensory multimedia, worship, conversation and creative input. I have been asked to speak two times, once on creativity and leadership (on Tuesday) and again on Spirit and culture and creativity (on Thursday).

And I am facing the curse of creativity.

You see, 18 months ago I wrote a presentation that directly addressed the Thursday topic, on Spirit and culture and creativity. 12 months ago I turned that into a book chapter. This week the book, with my chapter, has been published and my copy should arrive any day. It’s a big deal!

The book has been called a work of “outstanding scholarship”; “profoundly theological and sometimes provactively challenging”; “scripturally responsible, historically informed.” And my chapter exactly addresses the topic I’ve been asked to speak to on Thursday.

But in my head, it’s like 18 months old. Boring. Dated. Such is the curse of creativity.

I’ve tried to play with it – considered using godly play, written a new introduction – twice, sought a new integrative metaphor – and nothing clicks. The chapter stands now as it stood, than, as a fine piece of work that makes sense best when presented as written.

But it’s still so long ago, so dated, so 2008 ….

Posted by steve at 05:14 PM