NURTURE: To care for and encourage growth or development.
Here are three things we need in order to nurture a community of creativity:
1) WE NEED A START
I know this seems obvious, but without a spark of inspiration or a small idea or thought, we simply don’t have anything to nurture.
A couple of years ago, I was in the market for a new car. After a time of scouring AutoTrader.com and looking around town, I found a Hyundai Sonata in my price range that looked like a fancy Jaguar. What I began to notice after purchasing it and driving it around was that A LOT of people have them too. The point is this, before buying my car I had never seen one before. Correction, I had seen them, but I had no need to pay attention to them.
This is very much the same as the beginning of songs, once we set our minds and hearts to ‘seeing’ ideas for songs, we see them everywhere. Just like my Sonata.
I once heard these initial elements called “Song Seeds” and I loved it! These seeds can be found anywhere and they primarily come in 5 forms:
Lyrics - these can come from prayers, reading, sermons, books, movies
Melody - a series of notes played in succession
Rhythm - could be a groove played, or a rhythm of notes you like
Chords - can come from another song, or playing/practicing, creating a new sequence
Concepts - these are themes we would like to write about, e.g. love of the Father, God has sustained us etc.
Each of us usually has one specific Seed that we see most often - mine are lyrics. But all of them are the right way to start a song! Collect often, pray for them often, and allow yourself to catch that spark of inspiration no matter where it comes from.
2) WE NEED TO INVEST TIME
I touched on this in one of the last blogs I wrote, but often we water a seed, we spend time on it, we add to the melody, chords, lyrics, etc., but sometimes it is hard to see the growth come quickly. We may find ourselves getting stuck and/or frustrated. I can honestly say that I’ve been there and struggled to come back from it.
But here is what I have learned; every time I invest into a song, even if I think nothing has come of it and it seems the same at the end as when I began, I choose to think that I am thirty minutes closer to the song being finished. I might have three hours of approaching the song and leaving empty-handed before it grows into something beautiful, but I have to see the process through, and even see the empty handedness as okay and not get frustrated by it.
3) WE NEED OTHERS
For me, the best way to nurture creativity is through community. We as humans were built by God for community. We need each other! We need the wisdom of others, we need other’s strengths to meet our weaknesses, we need to receive words of encouragement and we need to give them.
I know that sharing the things you have created with others can be frightening. What we have to do is trust that the product of a healthy creative community far outweighs and outshines the product that can come from us alone.
We have to remind each other that we are all on the same team, that we are all fulfilling the commandment of “singing a new song to the Lord”, we need to celebrate one another, and rejoice in every song seed, every thirty minute 'empty handed’ session, and sing aloud each others triumph in completing a song.
I personally have a few like-minded creatives around me that I run everything by. I trust them, their opinions and their unique gifts. I also trust them to hold me accountable to my creativity. It is in this atmosphere that my creativity grows and is nurtured to a greater level then it could have ever been by myself.
Jennie Reynolds is the Artist Track teacher at Ocean's Edge School of Worship. She is an excellent teacher, music artist, musician, wife and friend. Learn more about Jennie.