By Jackson Dame
Are you an artist who struggles with finding inspiration? I know I am. I’m constantly struggling for creative ideas. When this happens, one of the things I’ve learned to do is to be more like David from the Bible.
David was a poet and songwriter. Sure, he was a shepherd turned king turned adulterer, but it’s often overlooked that he was a very creative person. The things he wrote and mused about thousands of years ago are still encouraging millions of people all across the globe today. This is mind boggling considering his culture was quite different from modern society. He wasn’t sending snapchats to Bathsheba after all.
This begs the question, what did he do that produced such powerful and timeless art? I believe the answer lies within the very contents of his songs.
Create From Your Life
David wrote about life and all the wonderful and gritty aspects it encompasses. But more important than this, he wrote about his life. He used his struggles, successes, and failures to create.
For instance, when he committed his most infamous act of sin and rebellion with Bathsheba, David created one of the most famous pieces he would ever write: Psalm 51. In Psalm 3, we see a short piece that David wrote when he fled from his own son, Absalom. He penned this at time when his son had just stolen the kingdom out from under him. I could go on with numerous more examples of how David created from his life.
“David wrote about life and all the wonderful and gritty aspects it encompasses. But more important than this, he wrote about his life.”
To apply this “create from your life” principle and become more like David, I have to ask myself, “what’s going on in my life right now?” or “what’s happened in my past that I can draw inspiration from?”
Asking these kind of questions caused me to write an article about my beliefs on altar calls. Learning from past struggles with doubting my salvation as a young believer, I was able to create something that connected with other people. From comments I received, I learned that there were others who dealt with (or were currently dealing with) very similar issues.
Not Just for Writers
Now, before you begin thinking this “be like David” concept of creativity is all about writing, it’s not. For filmmakers, your life experiences can influence the stories that you tell and the characters you create. For painters, you can look through your storehouse of memories and use it to find a subject to paint. For inventors, look at your daily life and see what kind of problems need solving. If you’re a church leader, look at the needs and struggles of the people in your congregation. Create something that reaches out to them.
All this being said, it can sometimes be hard to be like David. It causes us to have to dive deep into our experiences and draw out the parts that are worth using and learning from. I often feel like I’m struggling with finding the right words or understanding exactly what happened. It can take quite a bit of time and energy. Still, it’s worth the effort. Why? Because this pursuit can bring forth some of the most meaningful and timeless of creations. Art that not only is beautiful to consume, but also connects with who we are as humans.
The next time you’re having a creative block, try being like David.
PHOTO CRED: JOE DESOUSA