Expansive Creativity

Needs make us think that we lack something that can only be fulfilled through a certain situation. They give us tunnel vision, so we limit the amount of response, fulfillment, or resolution that we can have in any situation.

Creativity is a way of looking at the world or any situation from an expansive viewpoint. It reaches out because it comes from our love for others.

— Chuck Spezzano, If It Hurts, It Isn’t Love, p. 23

The Practice of Writing

It’s the same with writing, which is a practice like any other. If I waited to be in the mood to write, I’d barely have a chapbook of material to my name. Who would ever be in the mood to write? Do marathon runners get in the mood to run? Do teachers wake up with the urge to lecture? I don’t know, but I doubt it. My guess is that it’s the very act that is generative. The doing of the thing that makes possible the desire for it. A runner suits up, stretches, begins to run. An inventor trudges down to his workroom, closing the door behind him. A writer sits in her writing space, setting aside the time to be alone with her work. Is she inspired doing it? Very possibly not. Is she distracted, bored, lonely, in need of stimulation? Oh, absolutely, without a doubt it’s hard to sit there. Who wants to sit there? Something nags at the edges of her mind. Should she make soup for dinner tonight? She’s on the verge of jumping up from her chair — in which case all will be lost — but wait. Suddenly she remembers: this is her hour (or two, or three). This is her habit, her job, her discipline. Think of a ballet dancer at the barre. Plié, elevé, battement tendu. She is practicing, because she knows there is no difference between practice and art. The practice is the art.

— Dani Shapiro, Still Writing, p. 50-51


Do something creative every day, even if you work in a cubicle, even if you have a newborn, even if someone told you a long time ago that you’re not an artist, or you can’t sing, or you have nothing to say. Those people are bad people, and liars, and we hope they develop adult-onset acne really bad. Everyone has something to say. Everyone. Because everyone, every person was made by God, in the image of God. If he is a creator, and in fact he is, then we are creators, and no one, not a bad seventh-grade English teacher or a harsh critic or jealous competitor, can take that away from you.

— Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines, p. 229


I believe we are creations of the Great Creator and that we are intended to be creative ourselves. I believe that when we humbly cooperate by making something every day, we are making something also out of ourselves, and it is a something that God intends for us — souls joyous and effective, active and self-actualized.

— Julia Cameron, The Sound of Paper, p. 123

Being Who We Are

It is not what we do but how we do whatever we are doing that makes a difference. When we know ourselves we are able to make choices to do those things that, given our individual preferences and personalities, make it easier for us to be who we are — compassionate and openhearted and present. We are able to choose to do what we know we love.

— Oriah Mountain Dreamer, The Dance, p. 140

Our Own Music

If we cannot hear the music of our own sweet nature calling to us, if we cannot remember that the intention is to live who we really are, it’s hard to know how to move, where to begin, how to dance. That’s why it’s not always a good idea to start shouting enthusiastically about what we are going to do, how we are going to live our soul’s longing, no matter how strongly this longing is felt in the moment. Sometimes we need to just stand quietly together, hand in hand, until one of us hears the music and begins to dance.

— Oriah Mountain Dreamer, The Dance, p. 15