This month on this blog we are focusing on beauty. I'm grateful for the incredible beauty God created in our world—everything from the amazing diversity among animals and human beings to breathtaking views in nature like sunsets. Beauty demonstrates God's creativity. Mankind was created in God's image, and we have inherited many traits from our Heavenly Father, including creativity.
"Creativity is the use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness." (Oxford Dictionary)"George Land developed a creativity test for NASA to use when selecting engineering and science candidates. It worked so well, he decided to test children with the same questions. He followed 1,600 individuals, testing their creativity at age 5, age 10, age 15, and then as adults. 98% of the children passed the test at age 5, only 30% at age 10, 12% at 15, and only 2% as adults. Through this test, he concluded that we learn non-creative behaviour.
Writing is a creative process—putting words and phrases together to create a story or explain a concept. When we discipline ourselves to sit and write on a consistent basis, our creativity increases. So, what does creating beauty mean for me and my writing?
- Creating beauty means selecting my words with care, picking the exact nuance to share what I'm thinking or experiencing.
- Creating beauty takes skill, practice, and patience. A first draft is a good start. However, I need to hone that draft until each word is included for a reason. Writing is hard work! (Have you read Max Lucado's advice on writing and editing?)
- Creating beauty brings me joy. When God created the world, he looked at his creation and said it was good (Genesis 1). I believe we share some of God's joy when we are able to create something beautiful.
- Creating beauty honours God. I want my writing to point people to Jesus. In order to do this, I need to humbly acknowledge that God is the one who gives me ideas and enables me to make a beautiful piece of prose or poetry.
- Creating beauty reduces my stress and keeps me healthy. When I spend time crafting something beautiful, I lose track of time. My focus is on creating. I don't have the ability to focus on squabbles or finances or anything else that weighs me down. Instead I can focus on putting together something beautiful, that makes me feel at peace.
I am grateful for the opportunity to create beauty with my writing. Often, I pair my writing with pictures I have taken (like I have in this blog post). Taking pictures gets me out of my chair and moving around, looking for just the right scene, taken from the angle that best captures the beauty. Even an old stump can be beautiful! Just like writing enables me to share beauty, sharing my pictures enables others to enjoy the beauty I have seen.
When I was thinking about a brand for my writing and coaching business, all my brand ideas had to do with nature or the beauty that God created. I played around with several ideas. My two favourites were an african safari theme and a rose theme. As you can see, the roses won out. (I'm saving the african safari theme for a time when I can focus more on my photography!)
What about you? How do you create and/or share beauty with others?