Tag Archive for creative process


In her book, “A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek,” Annie Dillard describes how inspiration works. She says a muse doesn’t tell us to “Write this!” A muse suggests. A muse prompts. “Get up. I want to show you something. Stand here and look that direction.”

I’ve found her description so true. That is the way God has so often inspired me. He doesn’t demand, “Copy this down!” He is a gentle voice in odd moments. “Read this.” “Look there.” “Ask yourself this…”. Many of my most precious and fruitful times have begun exactly that way.

I’m still learning to turn to Him when I have a few spare minutes, to stay open to small promptings, mundane tasks, and unscheduled visits. These are life’s priceless opportunities. The Lord often shows up in disguise, without warning. I never ever want to ignore Him when He comes to me unannounced.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: My Mind Is Yours
Printed Music & Lyrics

Plan, Pray, and Begin

I must be rested, fresh, and alert to do creative work. Sleep, exercise, and diet all play a part. So does Bible study and prayer.

But even when I’m physically ready to work, the creative task would intimidate me if I let it.  Writing involves uncertainty and self-doubt. Even after all these songs, books, and articles, I never feel confident that I can do it again. Never!

Writing involves making tough decisions, one after another. Who enjoys making difficult decisions? No one! Certainly not me!

Because writing is intimidating, it would be easy to fall prey to procrastination. There’s always the temptation to fill your time with something less demanding just this once. Excuses and self-deceit are far easier than writing.

But every writing time is a God-given opportunity, and I avoid wasting them by taking three simple steps:

1.       Plan. Establish a reasonable schedule and stick to it. I love routine, and I’ve read that many creative people do. Other obligations sometimes intrude on my writing time. On rare occasions I even schedule a little time off. But I never skip writing on a whim. Never! I keep to my routine.

2.       Pray. As I approach time to write, I tell the Lord honestly that I can only do what He enables me to do. I lean on Him. I make myself available to Him.

3.       Begin. When it’s time to write, I sit down and start. I don’t wait for inspiration, and I don’t wait to feel like it. I’ve found that if I begin, God will be faithful to help me. But He can’t work through me until I begin working. Starting is that step of faith that I have to take, trusting that He’ll be there to help me.