When folks find out I’ve done some writing, it often happens that someone will mention how much they’d like to be an author.
Rarely have they actually written anything; usually, they’ve only relating a dream. I always urge them to follow through on their dreams, for few things are more exhilarating (to me) than the creativity involved in writing.
Creativity, wrote Howard Hendricks, is “like a verbal bombshell [that] explodes shrapnel into the private wish list of most people.” It’s commonly thought that creativity is given to only a few artistic achievers who were born with a touch of genius but, for the rest of us, is beyond our reach.
The book of Genesis says, first, that in the beginning God created, and, second, that God created man in His own image. The only thing attributed to God prior to man’s creation is that He created. And since there is in every individual something that is essentially divine, it seems logical to believe that every man (humanity, male and female) has some creative ability.
And every man gives evidence of this. Daily, in a hundred ways, people display their creative potential. Of all the creatures God made during the days of creation, only one had the ability to produce surprises. Only one was given free will to think voluntarily and independently.
All other life is subject to the laws of instinct and nature and is totally predictable; learn the nature of any particular animal in a given environment, and you can anticipate the normal and probable behavior of the animal.
But you can’t predict when it comes to man. Because humanity stands alone in the image of the Maker, totally free in regard to decision making. Only human beings are capable of improbability, of independent decisions and of behavior beyond ordinary expectations.
“The reason kids don’t have to be taught to be creative is that creativity is essential for human survival. Virtually every other species in the animal kingdom is born with a fully formed repertoire of reflexes and responses. Not so the human; we alone must learn and master from scratch almost everything we need to know to survive” (The Creative Spirit, 58).
When it comes to expressing creativity by writing a script or screenplay, a two-fold pleasure is involved. There’s the joy that results from your own creativity, and then there’s the joy that comes from seeing an actor/actress bring your work to life.
Dorothy Sayers spoke for me when she wrote, “To hear an intelligent and sympathetic actor infusing one’s own lines with his creative individuality is one of the most profound satisfactions that any imaginative writer can enjoy. . . . Within the limits of this human experience, the playwright has achieved the complex end of man’s desire — the creation of a living thing with a mind and will of its own.”
If you’ve ever thought about writing, painting, building, composing, etc., let me prod you to follow through on your dream.