Monday, February 20, 2012

The Love of Creating

"God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them..."
Genesis 1:27

Because we were created in the image of God, we share His attributes but on a finite (imperfect) level. He we desire to create as well. 

So, why did God create?  To be known. 

Why, then, do we desire to create?   ....Exactly.

The Love of Creating

As an artist, I am new to this business of writing. But the more I write, the more I see some similarities in the creation process. 

First, with painting, you should start with some rough sketches. You should have a general idea of what it is you want to paint before you ever touch the canvas with brush and paint. 

With writing, it is the same: you should have some sort of structure (outline) that explains exactly what it is you plan on writing. As with painting, the final product may have changed during the process, but that structure helps the writer stay on track.


Sometimes an artist can spend too much time on a painting or drawing without "stepping back" and looking at the piece from a different perspective. 

In writing, this is called revising. It helps to step away from the work even if for a few hours. When you come back to it, you will read your work with fresh eyes...or a different perspective.

A critique from an editor or writing group can also help in this revising process. I know with me, I have had to rework endings, add more details to chapters, and more all because of a new perspective. 

In painting, sometimes you need to turn the work upside down in order to see mistakes in composition or in details. The same goes for writing!

A good quality editor may come in and completely turn your work upside down! Yet this may be the only way for you to see that the structure, the composition, of your work is lacking and needs to be rewritten.

The Critique

Rewritten??!! Yes, rewritten.  

It may sound harsh, but a good quality critique can save your work. Critiques may be tough to endure...I have had my artwork taken apart by the very best...but it is worth it in the end. As long as the criticism is constructive, the critique is most valuable. 

Remember, it isn't personal. Your work is not YOU. Never let it be. You have to be willing to part with it. I have worked many days on a painting or drawing for a client only to never see it again. I have a photograph, but that's it.  Watching a piece of work depart is very hard on the creator. We have that attribute of God, that desire to create, so we tend to connect to our work. But I never lost a part of me when I sold a painting. I am still intact!

Your writing isn't YOU. You have to be willing to let go...and give it to the Lord. You have to be willing to make changes and even, sometimes, move on to something else. 

In His Image

Yes, we are created in the image of God. He is a God of remembrance. He commanded His people to erect memorials in His name, to write things down in a book of remembrance, to set aside days to remember. 

We long to do the same. We create in order to be known. We long for our work to endure. And it will matter in the long as we give it to the Lord in the here and now. 

So, go on creating!  Just make sure what you create brings God glory. And then He will bless it. Not as the world blesses (which is flawed and temporary and lacks fulfillment...) but with spiritual blessings. 

But most importantly....just write!


Your turn:  How difficult is the critique for you? Has an editor, teacher, or critique group told you to rewrite part of your work? 


  1. I think every author has been told at one time or another to rewrite something. However, I take it from where it comes and evaluate whether the critique is constructive or destructive. Not all critiques are created equal.

    Some might hurt the story I'm trying to tell, so those aren't even considered. Some are only self-serving to the one giving the critique. This happens frequently in Hollywood.

    In the end, the best judgment is between the author, their conscience and God for what is included and not included in a story. Don't be stubborn and refuse to learn, but don't cave to every critique that comes down the pike.

    1. Exactly, Shawn. Not every critique will be valuable. Not every suggestion will make your book better. But I have found it good to stop, let someone read my work, then step back and ask myself if the critique is valuable or not.

      We should all be learning at every moment!

      Thanks for visiting! :)

  2. I love how you compared painting to writing. Since I'm not an artist, I had no idea how similar the two were.

    And yes, I've had rough critiques, but if we go into them with an open mind and desire for honest feedback, it's much easier to separate the work from yourself. It helps if the critiquer also gives encouragement about what you've done well so you know you're not a complete failure, but sometimes that doesn't happen. :)

    1. That's true about the encouragement part, Lindsay! I have had to ask professors if they liked any part of my work at all because all they said was negative.

      Now I remember to always find the positive in someone's work.

      Thanks for visiting!

  3. Thanks for the reminder that we have an awesome Creator since we're made like Him...we create:) I'm still learning that my writing isn't's only my work:) Sometimes critiques are a bit hard to digest...even though in most cases they are very helpful;) thanks again!

    1. Thanks for the comment, Lorna! It is neat to see how we, as God's creation, love words and long to be known.

      Thanks for visiting!!

  4. I'm a huge fan of rewriting and revising. Six weeks after my rock star agent offered me representation, she sent her Revision Notes, and I returned to reality after my time soaring in the stratosphere. I'd released the tension in my story at the one-quarter mark. In order to fix it, I had to delete the final 75,000 words of the story and rewrite them. Was it worth the work? Totally. I learned a great deal, and my agent sold the story, which is my debut novel coming out in July.

    1. Wow! You had to delete 75,000 words?? Amazing. I am a big fan of revising and rewriting too, Keli. After a valuable critique from my editor, I had to rewrite the ending to The Dragon Forest 2, but it was so worth it because it is a better book as a result.

      Yep, we are far from the Lord's perfection when it comes to creating. Thankfully, He doesn't have to revise or rework what He has done!

      Thanks for visiting!