The following was taken from The Music and the Spoken Word
Nancy was eight years old when a teacher looked at her drawing and spoke six words Nancy would never forget: “You’re not very talented, are you?”
The words not only embarrassed her, they burrowed inside her, creating a firm resolve never to make a fool of herself by attempting to draw or paint again.
It took more than five decades for Nancy to outgrow this image of herself as a clumsy, artless, and uncreative person. Today Nancy knows something she wishes she could have understood when she was eight: the reason we create is not for the praise of others but because we love something so much we want to see it exist.
That’s what creative people do. They bring to life things that didn’t exist before.
Creativity is one of the great, mysterious hungers we all have as mortal souls, and there are as many ways to express this divine drive as there are people who feel it. Some of the most creative people in the world never pick up a paintbrush, sit down at a piano, or fill a page with words. Yet because of them, the world is filled with scented gardens, warm quilts, and loving relationships. Sometimes the most important thing we create is as simple as a smile.
Many of us have something we’ve always wanted to try to do but never quite got around to it—perhaps because we lacked the confidence, or maybe because we were afraid we would fail. The good news is this: when we set aside our fears and begin to create, we make not only our lives but our world more meaningful and more wonderful.
One wise man put it this way: “God left [the] world unfinished. . . . He left the problems unsolved and the pictures unpainted and the music unsung that man might know the joys and glories of creation.”1
1 Attributed to Alan Stockdale by Sterling W. Sill in Conference Report, Apr. 1960, 70.