Tuesday, October 2, 2018

How To Be Creatively Inspired

It takes more than waiting around for inspiration to do inspiring work.

Case in point: George Gershwin, as described in Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey.

"To me George was a little sad all the time because he had this compulsion to work," Ira Gershwin said of his brother. "He never relaxed." Indeed, Gershwin typically worked for twelve hours or more a day, beginning in the late morning and going until past midnight. He started the day with a breakfast of eggs, toast, coffee, and orange juice, then immediately began composing, sitting at the piano in his pajamas, bathrobe, and slippers. He would take breaks for a mid-afternoon lunch, a late-afternoon walk, and supper at about 8:00. If Gershwin had a party to attend in the evening, it was not unusual for him to return home after midnight and plunge back into work until dawn. He was dismissive of inspiration, saying that if he waited for the muse he would compose at most three songs a year. It was better to work every day. "Like the pugilist," Gershwin said, "the songwriter must always keep in training."

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The apostle Paul would probably agree with Gershwin. "Do you remember how, on a racing-track, every competitor runs, but only one wins the prize? Well, you ought to run with your minds fixed on winning the prize! Every competitor in athletic events goes into serious training. Athletes will take tremendous pains—for a fading crown of leaves. But our contest is for an eternal crown that will never fade. I run the race then with determination. I am no shadow-boxer, I really fight! I am my body’s sternest master, for fear that when I have preached to others I should myself be disqualified." (I Corinthians 9:24-27 Phillips)

Truth is...Do you want to be close to God? To hear His voice? To feel led by the Spirit? To do inspiring things for the Kingdom? Then get up out of your seat and show us your faith by your works. (James 2:18)

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