Monday, August 07, 2017

You Can’t…Not

“True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist.” – Albert Einstein

Some people say they want to do something creative. It may be singing, songwriting, dancing, acting, or some other creative thing. They want to do it, but they don’t do it. This is where I find the true drop off between the people who are successful in creative careers, and those who are not.

The people who are successful cannot ‘not’ do it. They simply keep doing their craft day after day, month after month, year after year, decade after decade. They have a history of doing creative work, and continuing or re-continuing creating. They may stop for a while, but always comes back. Always.

It’s like a cold that you just can’t get rid of. You could even purposely try to quit, thinking this is not the career for you. You can take another career, and pursue it with vigor, but still your creativity will not die and it will not stop.

You will write down ideas in Evernote, sing things into your phone, scribble in the margin of your pages. Your daydreams will get you in trouble, and your real dreams will have you on these creative adventures in places like studios, with casts of thousands working with you towards your creative goals.

Right now you are reading this and you are nodding, and you are maybe even in tears, because you know this is you.

I know because this is me too. Everything I have written to this point I do still. When I was at a corporate job, or I was in school, or I was in church, or even in some place where there was nothing creative going on around me like a hospital, or a funeral, or a wedding. Even in movies, plays, or sporting events, I was dreaming of what I wanted to do. I’m sitting here still dreaming of it.

I think a lot of people get hung up on the fact that they may not be able to make the living that they need to with their creative skills. And sometimes this is true. Especially in the music business these days it is very hard to make a living in the traditional way music artists have always made. But an artist’s life has never been easy.

To this I say, this is why God gave us day jobs, why He invented fundraising. Who said that your music, acting, dancing, painting, or anything that you inherently do has to support you? Believe me doing creative work to pay your bills is not the dream you may think it is.

“An artist needn’t be a clergyman or a churchwarden, but he certainly must have a warm heart for his fellow men.” –  Vincent Van Gogh

Yes there could be altruistic reasons to create art. It can before ministry reasons , it can be for art, or other reasons. It could just be to make people feel better. But wonder if it’s just to add to the kingdom of God? What if it’s to add to the quality of YOUR life? Or to the life of your friends, family, workmates, or someone else is connected to you personally?

But none of this really matters. It doesn’t matter if it makes you money, it doesn’t matter if it pleases those around you, and it doesn’t matter if it makes you rich or famous.

If you are a true creative, you won’t be able to NOT be creative. Welcome to the club!

“Any musician who can stop may be a musician, but they’re no artist. If it’s in your blood, it can’t stop flowing.” – Paul Westerberg

So maybe just give in. Quit trying to run from it, deny it, or drown it. Stop thinking of quitting because you aren’t getting the notoriety or not making money you thought you would. And definitely don’t stop because someone told you to, or that you aren’t good enough.

Unless you can indeed stop. And in that case maybe this creative thing is not for you.

But I bet you can’t not keep creating…

“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself.” – Abraham Maslow

Have a great week.


Eric Copeland is a composer, author, and is literally thinking of new projects every day and has since he was a kid. His one focus is to get out all the creations the Great Creator gave him. His company Creative Soul can help you create your next works while he creates his. Are you ready to get to work before your creative time runs out? Contact us here and let’s talk!

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Eric Copeland is an author, producer, keyboardist, songwriter, and president of Creative Soul Companies. What is Creative Soul? Our main goals are to inform, encourage, and assist Christian creative folks in ministry, no matter where they are in their journey. Thanks for reading! Find out more about us at