|Spring for Art, Covington LA.|
photo by Crispin Schroeder
I have been pondering for some time now how the arts whether music, dance, painting, photography, poetry and writing are not only beneficial for those who enjoy them but also for their creators as well. In recent years I have found myself so busy with different things in life that I have occasionally pushed things like music, writing, and photography to the margins of my life. However I am learning that having a healthy dose of creativity consistently in my life whether songwriting, photography, or writing tends to benefit many other areas in my life.
The truth is that whenever I devote more time to songwriting I find it causes me to pay more attention to what’s going on inside my own heart and to be more present to the world around me. Photography works this way for me as well. When I am consistently picking up the camera to take pictures I find my outlook on life to be more observant and more expectant. Instead of merely going through the motions I find myself attentive to the beauty and even the messes around me. There was a time when writing (particularly blogging) was viewed as a distraction from my job but I have come to find that writing has not only helped me become a better communicator (whether through writing, speaking, or performing music) but it has also helped me to become a better listener and observer. I am starting to realize that I am a better person when I participate in the arts on a regular basis.
There is a podcast I used to listen to quite a bit called The Accidental Creative. One thing that they stress frequently on the podcast is how creative people need to actually set aside time in their weekly schedules for creative play—times to do something that may have no direct connection to ones job. This may seem counterintuitive or even as a distraction but I have come to find immense wisdom from this approach. In the last year I have tried to consistently set time aside in my weekly schedule for creativity, whether songwriting, photography or writing. I have come to find that far from being a distraction from work, these times usually offer the breakthrough moments that give me special insight into my central vocation (which at this time in my life happens to be being a pastor).
- What has been your experience in this area?
- Do you find that participating in the arts on a regular basis helps you in other areas of your life?