Responding to the Creative Burst

Inspiration comes at the most random times.

My favourite place in the world - St Francis' Carceri Hermitage, Asissi

My favourite place in the world - St Francis' Carceri Hermitage, Asissi

Sometimes it falls while I'm driving home drumming on the dashboard of the car. Other times it's in the shower while my brain is turned off soaking my shoulders in the heat, or over a glass of wine sitting at the piano waiting for something to just appear out of nowhere, or walking down the park with my dogs in the sunshine and thinking 'life is good'. It's at disarmed moments like these, when my soul is free and open, that a little bell in my head sounds - "ding" - and a revelation dawns. A thought, an idea, a melody, a mood, a message. And if I'm conscious enough, I recognise what's happening fast enough to race to a pad or computer or recording device to catch it in a jar and screw the lid on tight before it escapes and wafts away in the breeze. Yeah, 'cos sometimes that happens too. 

This time was different. I was in bed asleep. I had no plans on waking up, I was very comfortable staying in bed thank you very much. Perhaps it's because my subconscious had been stirring with ideas and thoughts from different books I'd been reading, intersecting and igniting with bits and pieces from my own memory and experiences over the last 20 years. Whatever culmination of reasons combined to create the perfect conditions, suddenly around 3am in the morning I woke up with a clear sense that I was to go downstairs to the computer and I was going to write my next book.

This is the bit where you don't disobey - just move a fast as you can and don't ask questions. Most importantly, don't start trying to pre-empt the creative idea or you might stuff it all completely. I reluctantly left my wife in the warmth of our bed and tip-toed downstairs.

Waiting For the Magic

I sat down, turned on the computer, opened a blank document, and waited for the inspiration to come. Then I typed in the first word that came to me: 'Spearhead'. That's it. That's what I wanted to write about. 'Spearheading a new evangelisation of our nation and paving a way for the Church of the future'. That was the vision statement for Ignite Youth, the ministry I had just spent four weeks speaking into a camera about, explaining why our cause was so important and why I believed in our vision so much. So that's what was bubbling away in the background of my sub-conscious. I realised I had something to say, something that I hadn't heard anyone else say yet - at least not the way I wanted to - something Australian, something for ordinary lay-people like me. Within minutes I had laid out the chapter headings and begun writing furiously into the night.

I didn't stop to check the time until I slowly noticed the room getting lighter and birds whistling outside. Oh no, I've done it again... my wife is going to chastise me - again. Yes honey, I know, it was so stupid of me; now I've had no sleep and I've got a full day of work ahead. The truth is, after a secret midnight session of passion and inspiration flowing into a new creative project, I never feel so alive! I bounce out of bed with a spring in my step and whistle to myself in the kitchen while making a cup of tea, just like my old man does. I feel like I could fly for days; It's awesome! Why is that? Because I've dived into and splashed around in the creative world of God again, where the hang-overs don't bite. For me, there is nothing better than being caught up in the creative process.

I had dived into and splashed around in the creative world of God again where the hang-overs don’t bite

I savour memories like these. To complete Spearhead I spent many more 10-4am sessions drawn into my computor like a moth to its death, where an invisible hand reached out and drew forth stories and images and scriptures and intense passion that i didn't know existed until it was on paper. I'll let you be the judge of that.

At the end of the day I just want to give a shout out to all my right-brain peeps who get what I'm talking about here and say 'it's great to be a creative.' I am proud to be one of "those people". Hell, there's a lot of stuff I can't do; a lot of stuff I am completely useless at! Do not ask me to write a spreadsheet, a budget, or remember the list at the drive-through. Everyone has their gift to offer to the world, and I believe that everyone who is creative has a responsibility to do the same. Otherwise why would God have wired us this way?

Everyone has their gift to offer to the world and everyone who is creative has a responsibility to do the same

If you are one of those people, let me encourage you to step out. Open your soul and empty your mind. Get a blank sheet of paper, invite the Holy Spirit to inspire your soul and then use whatever is in your hands - brush, clay, guitar, keyboard or typewriter - to create a legacy of beauty in the world.

You have something to say.


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