Thinking Out Loud

October 4, 2013

Creativity Block

Filed under: blogging — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 9:28 am

One of the four summers I worked at a Christian summer camp there was a management team that was considered by many staff to be particularly oppressive. People coped with them in different ways, but generally there was much dissatisfaction and unrest.

CreativityWhen it came time to leave after ten weeks, I got in my car for the two hour drive home and instead of turning on the radio or CD player — back then it would have been a cassette deck — I started singing. Some of the songs that came were things I was making up on the spot, and by the time I arrived in Toronto two hours later, I had written and memorized three complete songs, which I quickly wrote down as soon as I could find pen and paper.

As I later explained this to a friend, he told me that all that creativity had been locked inside while working at the camp, and as soon as I was physically free of the place, the creative juices started flowing like a river…

…I mention all this because over the last few days I have felt a creative block where Thinking Out Loud is concerned, but I realized later that this is only because I have been trying to write more original articles at Christianity 201, instead of harvesting them from other sites.

You can only be creative on so many fronts at a time.

Thinking Out Loud started shortly after I finished a two-year stint of leading worship every Sunday — solo — in a local church. I worked hard on those weekly worship sets, including stringing together medleys of songs from a variety of musical influences in order to give worship opportunity to a broad mix of generations.  Some Sundays the song list incorporated fragments of up to 17 songs.

I could not have done that and done this at the same time. The creative energy to create Thinking Out Loud only happened when I stopped being creative on another front…

…Years ago I heard a story about a man who had never written an original song in his life, but then he became a regular on a Christian television show that was broadcast regionally in Canada. He discovered that while radio stations play royalty based on a partial sample of station playlists, television is (or was at the time) done so that royalties are based on a 100% audit of music used. The money turned out to be significant.

So he started writing songs. While I can’t applaud the motivation, and I doubt that any of those songs had the staying power to be used anywhere today, the point is that the creative resources were resident within him, but had been untapped.

So what’s your creative gift or talent that you’re not using to fullest? What abilities lie untapped for whatever reason? I encourage you to put yourself in a position to find out.


  1. Challenging . . .
    When it became necessary for me to give up my full time+ voluntary role in National children’s ministry, I felt useless. Shifting from such full-on work, using many gifts, I was suddenly doing nothing and I felt very depressed and withdrawn. Thankfully, God knows our circumstances and it wasn’t long before He lead me into a different kind of ministry, still using the talents and gifts He has given, but to a much lesser degree, necessary because of changed conditions at home. I praise God for the enormous privilege of being used by Him for a number of years (decades) and for the smaller ways in which He uses me now. ALL praise is due to Him and Him alone.

    Is there more? Is there something else? If so, I want to be open to His direction. Thanks for the challenge.

    Comment by meetingintheclouds — October 6, 2013 @ 8:33 pm

  2. […] blogging, but in the various other forms of social media that have arrived more recently. As I said a few days ago, you can only be creative on so many fronts at once, and some great writers online have gravitated […]

    Pingback by The Corruption of Online Journaling | Thinking Out Loud — October 12, 2013 @ 10:27 am

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