The Origin of Creativity
I like to think God said, “Let there be…” and then paused to think for a moment. Suddenly it came to him, “Light!”
If you accept the book of Genesis, then God is a creator by nature. And he created us in his image, little miniatures of himself. That means we're creators by nature, too. Creativity is our heritage. It's in our DNA. When we create, we're being Godlike. We're doing what we're supposed to do. Musicians, inventors, landscapers, cooks, beauticians and actors and writers of books are just following the call of a creative plan and fulfilling the destiny of a thing called Man.
What do you create?
In the fifty-fifth chapter of his book, Isaiah reports God as saying, “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
Now back to the nature of God for a moment. When he said, “Let there be light,” we can be sure he didn't use vocal cords to create vibrations that traveled through air. The fourth part of the letter to the Hebrews tells us “the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Did you catch that first part, about how God's statements are “living,” alive?
John's gospel skips Bethlehem and the begats. John takes us back to the big bang, “Let there be… Light!” Here's how he puts it: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him [the Word,] and without Him nothing was made that was made… and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”
Writers, like God, speak worlds into existence. Likewise, every artist takes visitors to a world that isn't there. Photographers take us to long-ago moments by freezing a frame in this filmstrip we call the space-time continuum. Painters take us to places we've never been. Actors introduce us to people that don't exist. Landscapers create moods and feelings we didn't have before, as do musicians and interior decorators. Video games create emotion in us by allowing us to star in our very own movie. They are an art form like every other.
What is the form of your art? Into what moist clay are you leaving your fingerprints? Are you molding the minds of young men and women? Are you, like Alberto Mendieta, causing buildings to rise from piles of materials? Are you able to swing his hammer?
Please don't insult God by telling me you aren't creative. You are creative. And every creative effort brings a rich reward.
Read the first chapter of Genesis. And then create something. Do it so the thing will exist. Fling it into existence from the fingertips of your mind.
And then watch what happens.
Roy H. Williams
Have you signed up yet for Wizard Academy's April 22 Writers Conference? Seating is physically limited to just 200 people. Why not make yourself one of them? Instructors will include the pragmatic Jeff Sexton and the startling David Freeman and the rarely-seen Christopher J. Maddock.
PPS – Note to the Cognoscenti: Do you remember our session on phonemes? How I told you that the sound represented by the letter “B” often signifies the separation of one thing from another? With this in mind, take a close look at the sixth paragraph of this memo. “Bethlehem, begat, back, big bang, beginning.” Think about how each of these words fulfills the promise of its opening phoneme. Project: Write a paragraph of 100 words about the creative process. At least 14 different words must begin with the letter B. Send your 100-word paragraph to ChrisMaddock@WizardOfAds.com before midnight Sunday, March 26, 2006. You'll find out why later. Maybe. – RHW