Tongue tied, mind blank, uninspired, burned out, writer’s block… Whatever you call it, it’s awful.
This has been a hectic week of busyness for me, the culmination of months of musical instruction and training. My voice and piano students have their formal exams in less than forty-eight hours, and the pressure is ON. I know, I know, the pressure is theirs to bear, not mine. But a teacher always carries the silent burden of
“Have I done enough? Do they really understand? Are they ready?”
Add to that the last-minute pressures of final rehearsals, emotionally charged students with exam-day jitters, and it’s only natural to ask yourself, “Have I forgotten anything?”
It’s no wonder I have writer’s block.
To be honest, Walking in Unforced Rhythms is proving to be both a mystery and a challenge to me. I wish I could say that I’m a master at this, but I’m really not. It’s more like I’m enrolled in ‘Unforced Rhythm School’ and wading through performance reviews and mid-terms.
Father, help me.
And then, the strangest thing happened tonight. As I lay my head on my pillow, willing myself to slumber, inspiration finally struck.
My own words from this week started preaching to me. (Once again, I am my own best sermonizer.) Now, it’s 12:39 am and… well, ‘a writer’s gotta do what a writer’s gotta do.’
Here’s what I preached to myself…
1. Script Your Creativity
To set the stage, one of the requirements for the vocal exams this coming week is that each student be able to
- RE-WORK A MELODY LINE for 8-12 bars of music (meaning they keep the same lyric but change the melody), and then
- IMPROVISE for an additional 8-12 bars (meaning they must create melodies to fill open sections in the music).
This part of the exam is, single-handedly, the most stressful for most students, especially those unused to making up random melodies. When they exclaim, “I don’t know what to do. I can’t do this!” my teacher’s wisdom kicks in:
“Go home, and be creative. Don’t worry about performing—just listen to the music and play around with melodies and vocal sounds. Experiment, create, and choose your favourite ideas. And then… SCRIPT YOUR CREATIVITY.”
Few people in this world can be genuinely creative while under pressure. Stress is usually the enemy of creativity. That’s why the rest of us must come up with ideas in a relaxed environment, and then script those ideas to make them predictable and repeatable.
“Don’t expect to make something up in the examination room. Cut yourself some slack. Script your creativity at home, in private, and then be able to reproduce it without thinking about it.”
Do you see where I’m going with all this?
2. God is the Source of Creativity Anyway
I remember prepping for my first ‘Write 31 Days’ challenge. “Can I do this? Am I good enough? What if I run out of things to write about?”
All of these questions came pouring out before I could stop them. Self-doubt, insecurity, fear. My husband looked at me incredulously and then gave me a loving but firm rebuke.
“Shauna, the God who raised Christ Jesus from the dead lives inside your mortal body. He is the Source of ALL creativity! You will NEVER run out of things to say!”
I was shocked for a moment, but then the truth of God’s Word started to sink in. Yes!
- We are not alone. Father God lives inside us (Romans 8:11), and
- He loves to tell His secrets to His friends (John 15:15 MSG, Amos 3:7).
- We just need to be available, and He will speak THROUGH us.
My friends, as you prepare for the unique challenges set before you, don’t faint. Don’t shrink back. You can do this!
Trust the Source! *God is the Source of ALL creativity - He lives in you! You will NEVER run out of things to say! Click To Tweet
* [I recently shared this story on Christina Hubbard’s 31 Day Series called “Good Enough: Courage and Compassion for the Imperfect Creative.” If you are a fellow creative and feeling stuck, check her out!]
Are You Having ‘Writer’s Block’ In Life?
My friends, are you under pressure and feeling completely uninspired? It’s ok. Stop beating yourself for your lack of creativity.
- Find a quiet place to decompress. Be still long enough to silence the racing thoughts.
- Ask Father to breathe creativity into you again. He is the SOURCE of all creativity anyway. Breathe in His presence.
- Allow yourself to exhale the gift you have inside you. No pressure to perform—just release the outward expression of God from inside.
- Then Script it—write it down, record it, paint it, sketch it, cook it, sew it, whatever makes you tick. Make a record of what comes out of you.
- Finally, share that expression with the world around you.
I know this may seem impossible in your busy schedule, but it doesn’t have to take hours. I believe your Heavenly Father wants to meet you right here and right now.
Just stop for a while—be still.
Let Him breathe His life into you. He’s the Source anyway.
Then exhale your gift to the world.
It’s that simple… and that mysterious.
“Moreover there are workmen with you in abundance: woodsmen and stonecutters, and all types of skillful men for every kind of work. ‘Of gold and silver and bronze and iron there is no limit. Arise and begin working, and the Lord be with you’” (1 Chronicles 22:15-16 NKJV).
And to all, a Good Night
Now, my words are spent, and my pillow beckons. I must sleep. Thank you, Father, for Unforced Rhythms that comfort and inspire me whenever I’m close to You.
Good night, my friends. I believe in you.
Today is DAY 4 of the 31 Day Challenge, and I am using it to explore UNFORCED RHYTHMS OF GRACE—how to live an amazing life without burning out or losing my joy.
Am I perfect at this? Definitely not, but I’m on a mission to do it better. Thank you for joining me on this journey!
Today’s prompt word was CREATE, and we are linking up with the writers over at Five Minute Friday and Crystal Stine’s Write 31 Days.
To read more 31 DAYS OF UNFORCED RHYTHMS, click here!