Be A Faithful Struggling Artist

It’s 10AM and the day is already getting away from me. If the clock strikes noon there is no way I will be able to get my work done. I drop my head into my hands and let out an audible groan. 

“Why do I always let this happen?”

Every week I publish two articles and I’ve never missed a week. The time has finally come. This week I won’t be able to meet my publishing deadline.

“Will anyone even notice?”

I don’t have the desire to write, and despite a notepad full of ideas, I feel like I have nothing I want to write about.

Have you ever been in my shoes?

What do you do?

How do you get the inspiration to sit down at your computer and write, your easel and paint, or your notepad and draw?

Stephen King says in his excellent book On Writing, “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”

Amateurs like myself often need a lightning bolt to strike us for inspiration. I can’t sit down and turn out content as easy as turning on the faucet and filling a glass of water. How about you?

I have discovered a foolproof method for receiving inspiration

But for some reason I only resort to this method when I am truly desperate. When, as Stephen Pressfield likes say “doing the work,” just doesn’t seem possible. I like to use this technique when my writing deadline is fast approaching and I’m on track end my publishing streak.

What is my method for getting creative inspiration?

I walk away from the empty page on my computer screen and into my living room. I grab my Bible from underneath a pile of books, fall to my knees, and bow my head in prayer.

“God, please help me. I need you. Without you I can’t write a word. If you aren’t with me I have no creativity. Although I like to take credit for my writing, thee words always come from you. Please give me the inspiration I need to write today. I am ready to receive it. I should have came to you sooner, but I like to feel like I can do this all on my own. But I can’t. I need you. Right now. Please help me.”

I feel Him in the room with me. I open my eyes, flip open my Bible to a random page, and start reading.

Lightning strikes and His Holy Spirit fills me

Those who say lightning can’t strike twice in the same place don’t understand the truth. 

Whenever I ask God for inspiration He freely provides it.

Three verses into the page I flipped to and my hand is furiously scribbling down an outline for a post. Before I lose the idea I race to my computer, thank God for coming to my rescue, and start writing, smoke coming from my fingertips. 

The writing inspired by God is my best work.

Writing these posts is easy, it’s fast, and feels like I’m completely full of wisdom and creativity, and I must excitedly fill the page before it’s lost.

These posts are the ones you write in to me about, comment on, and share with your friends.

So why do I always wait for the 11th hour to ask God for His help?

Because I’m afraid He won’t help me.

I don’t know how I could live with myself if He left me to suffer.

But He never has left me stranded. Why do I think He would?

God isn’t like our boss, neighbors, friends, or family, He may not give us exactly what we ask for at the exact moment we ask for it, but He always gives us exactly what we need. We may not understand, but He does, and He’ll never let us down if we trust in Him and have faith.

John Lee Dumas writes in his book The Common Path To Uncommon Success:

“Those who are not on the common path to uncommon success constantly find themselves in a “create on demand” cycle. They are always rushing to meet their goals before they miss a deadline.

The result for the person consuming the content? The content feels hurried. It feels watered down. It feels like there is something missing.

The life of the creator of the content? The creator is constantly stressed, anxious, and feeling like their back is against the wall.”

Do you agree with what John Lee Dumas writes? 

Are those of us ruled by the Creator of the universe, the designer of all the beautiful flowers, winding rivers, snow capped mountains, and the graceful egrets and ferocious osprey subject to this same path? 

If you ask God for His Spirit to fill you and give you the creativity, inspiration, and energy to produce your work of art will He deny you?

There are verses from Scripture that point to no, He won’t deny you of the creative wisdom you need:

  1. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
  2. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” Matthew 7:7 & 8
  3. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5
  4. “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3

Why do we wait until we are desperate to ask for help?

For me, it is the all too common sin of pride. I believe I can do this on my own. I want to prove that I am capable, smart, and creative. Not only to myself, but to my readers, God, and the world. If I need to rely on God for my creative inspiration what type of struggling artist am I?

The answer?

A faithful struggling artist. 

What sort of creative do you want to be? The kind that suffers in solitude with your brush, keyboard, or pencil in hand? 

Or a creative that is proud to call upon the most beautiful, prolific, and inspirational Creator of all time. Your Heavenly Father.

I know which one I want be… How about you? How do you express your creativity? Please write in the comments below. I answer them all.

Feature image courtesy of Thought Catalog.

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