How Waiting Brings You Success in Your Creative Work

“When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” —Exodus 13:17

By Richard Eisermann (1853-1927) (Bonhams) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Richard Eisermann (1853-1927) (Bonhams) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Do you ever feel like you’re filled with a creative spirit, and it’s time for you to succeed? So, you work furiously and send your baby out. But ouch! Others don’t see it your way. They give you 5s on a 1-10 scale.

We can embrace a little-accepted but powerful tool that will bring us success. I’ll call it the W-A-I-T tool.

1.  W is for Wonder

file0002075254789We need to ferment.

I want to watch my grandchildren go though all the wonderful steps to becoming fine adults. I don’t want them to miss their time to wonder and to learn how to overcome challenges. I want them to succeed.

God led the Israelites in a roundabout route to the Red Sea. He led them from a life of slavery into a new life. Why the roundabout route? Because He didn’t want them to face war. In their fear and discouragement, He knew they’d give up and turn back.

If we charge forward, the first sign indicating we aren’t ready may cause us to give up and turn back.

Whether we enter into a creative field at fifteen or fifty, we need to be led in a roundabout journey, learning how to wonder, to develop our craft, and to overcome challenges.

2. A is for Act

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur individual creativity needs to ferment.

You must develop and discover your individual stamp by working on it. Try different ideas and methods. Through persevering and production, allow yourself to discover what uniqueness you are called to deliver.

This is usually a good time to enter contests on a regular basis. Then watch scores and comments improve as you learn what in your work delights experts as unique and good.

3. I is for Idle

Our work needs to ferment.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALet the work sit. Overnight, a week, or if necessary, a month, depending on how long it takes you to return to it unbiased.

Much reverberates in our creative minds. Often, the good stuff we see in our imagination fails to make it into the work. Or it gets in but sits there in an awkward manner. Or the good stuff never has a chance to enter our overactive minds.

So, let the work idle. Hours after I’ve finished a scene, a word pops into my mind. Unaware I needed a better word, I find the interjected word is perfect for the scene.

Also, when I return to my work after days, I’ll ask myself, “What did I mean by that sentence?” If I don’t know, then my readers won’t.

Let your work visit a trusted critique partner. They’ll often catch problems that you don’t.

4.   T is for Trust

file9961246654490Our confidence needs to ferment.

Our roundabout journey has grown us. We’ve discovered and developed our individual flare. We’ve let our work stew, and then we honed it. Now, we need to let our baby go to find the right place for it to do the work it was created to do.

The first place we send it might be the wrong place. So, don’t get discouraged. Send it elsewhere. Or find a good agent.

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When has waiting been a boon in your creative work?

5 Steps to Recharge Your Creativity

“The wise learn from the experience of others, and the creative know how to make a crumb of experience go a long way.” — Eric Hoffer

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Do you ever feel your creativity is at an all time low? Everything you do is a rehash of what you did when your creativity burst like fireworks on the Fourth of July? Your bucket comes up dry from your fresh-ideas well?

Try this method and feel your creative juices start to rumble and bubble deep within you.

Step 1 – Observe

Image courtesy of Kookkai_nak at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Kookkai_nak at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Grab your laptop or a sheet of paper and a pen and sit in three different places for 5 minutes. Make sure:

  • one is a favorite room inside,
  • one is a less favorite setting like a laundry room or bathroom,
  • and one is outside.

During your 5 minutes in each place inspect items around you and list 3 things that delight you.

Example:

In a favorite nook, I enjoy the hand-carved leaves and flowers of a table from India. The details on the fireplace iron insert surprise me in how the designer combined art, simplicity, and function. Studying the ends of the magazine rack shaped like a musician’s lyre, I recall why I bought it at an antique mall.

In the laundry room, I like the convenience of the hand-wash function on the washing machine. The curved sides of the stacked washer and dryer. And the sunny wall color someone named Cloudy Sunset.

Outside, I delight in the bright yellow and black goldfinches on our feeder. The furry bunny licking the dew from the earthy slate on our back porch. Today’s sunrise over the Blue Ridge Mountains. And the new red Gerbera daisy that opened this morning.

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Step 2 – Imagine

Now imagine the creator of each thing you listed, the artisan, designer, or inventor. Picture his excitement about his idea, his enjoyment at each stroke of his hand, and his reluctance to leave his creation at lunchtime. Imagine another’s mental pictures as she considered how you would receive her handiwork. Her hope you’d delight in a particular aspect.

 

Step 3 – Thank

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Take a moment and mentally thank each creator for his gift, his willingness to learn his craft, his work, his perseverance, and his desire to make life a little better for you. I’m thanking the woodcarver, the iron inset designer, the paint colorist, and God for their creations.

Step 4 – Ask

MP900289434From all the items you listed, ask yourself whether something in the observing, imagining, or appreciation experiences might spark a fresh idea for your audience. Using my observed items:

  • A time-saving idea for your blog
  • An historical romance about an iron fireplace inset maker
  • A painting to capture God’s awesome sunrise
  • An interesting shape to add to your pottery
  • A children’s story about a thirsty bunny
  • An article about perseverance in your art
  • Earrings in the shape of lyres

Paintbrush with Blue PaintStep 5 – Act

Even if an idea for your next creation fails to strike you immediately, do something that calls you to create. Think of those close to you who could use a boost.

  • A doll on a shelf inspires making paper dolls for your daughters.
  • A lyre magazine rack sparks writing a love song for your wife.
  • A cake on a magazine cover instigates decorating cupcakes for your kindergarten class to resemble each child’s face in skin, hair, and eye color and adding their initials.

The bigger ideas will come now that you’re back in action.

Please share an idea you had while stepping through this method.

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