The greatest lesson I learned about being creative.

Sitting down everyday to write and facing a blank page is one of the hardest things to do as a writer. There is so much space to fill and so little to fill it with. If you face a blank canvass you can be sure that resistance will come along and fill it for you.

Anything to stop you creating.

There is one way to beat resistance. In fact this way isn’t so much about beating it but getting ahead of it so when it does arrive, and it always does, you will be able to defeat it.

For today at least.

For most of us creativity is a moment when we decide to sit down and work. But the problem with that is it depends very much on how we are feeling. But creating should never be about feeling good about it. If it is then you will spend a lot of time waiting for the moment to arrive. It may never arrive.

What if you were to stop waiting for it to arrive and realize that the moment is already here?

Being open to the world around us is the best way to be ready when it comes to that moment when we need to commit words to paper or raise our brush to our canvass.

Rob Bell in his Poets, Prophets and Preachers film talks about being alert to the world around him and recording anything and everything he thinks may be useful for a book/talk/sermon/video. So if he sees something that catches his eye in a magazine he rips it out, he takes a photo of something, he saves a link, he borrows a prop.

He has no edit button. More times that most he doesn’t know how or if this thing will help but the trick is that it doesn’t matter. He compiles and compiles and saves everything into ‘buckets’.

Every couple of weeks he reads through his buckets.

There maybe something great in there that can be used for something, or it could all need to be scrapped.

It doesn’t matter.

Because when he sits down to work he already has a load of ideas ready. The time sitting down isn’t spent coming up with something but to use what he already has to get going.

Resistance only appears every time we sit down and do the work. If it’s a simple us V the resistance, 9/10 times we will be knocked out in the first round. But when we come to sitting down and we have already compiled ideas and images or thoughts and articles then resistance has less and less of a chance to disrupt us.

We can save our self a lot of stress and anxiety that we aren’t good enough or we aren’t creative enough because half the battle is already won.

Sometimes we need to be aware of life in the moments we are driving or walking the dog or reading TIME magazine in the airport or singing in the shower.

That’s where our next blog series or our next book idea may come from.

Then comes the simple job of creating.

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