Starving Artists

Kara Lennox is a successful romance novelist who lives in the Dallas area. I heard her speak once about a stall in her career where she couldn't sell a thing. She decided her life as an author was probably over, so she stopped writing.

During that time, she went on a cycling adventure down Route 66. That adventure led her to explore others. Instead of writing about life she began living it. It recharged her soul and she began to write (and sell) again.

In my day job, I meet a lot of churches. The challenge is that many of them that are "production-centric" become creatively dry. When you are assembling a new production every seven days, there isn't much time for much else. And if the only thing the musicians, artists and pastors are exposed to is their "church world" they can find themselves recycling the same stuff over and over. Their world becomes narrow. Insulated. Internal provisions run low.

This isn't only true of churches. It happens in business, academia, art... Without fuel, the creative spark dims.

David Wahlstedt introduced me to a great quote by Theodore Zeldin...“Conversation is a meeting of minds with different memories and habits. When minds meet they don’t just exchange facts; They transform them, reshape them, draw different conclusions from them, engage in new trains of thought. Conversation doesn’t just reshuffle the cards, it creates new cards.”

We all need new cards from time to time, and they aren't actually that difficult to generate. The thing is that it takes us being willing to break our comfortable routine. Reading authors we've never read, speaking with people with different life experience...having different life experiences ourselves. That exposure creates richer, deeper, more interesting human beings.

It feeds the creative soul.

1 comment

Big Tea said...

I have found in my personal life that with limited horizons comes arrogance. When my world is defined by only that which I am aware or knowledgeable about I am much more likely to scorn the input or thoughts of others. My own ideas become better and better as long as there is no one elses to compare them to.

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Maira Gall