Jack Gets It

Jack White gets it.

In this interview, he talks about the relationship between creativity and constraints, and I think it’s right on.

So much of creativity is about boundaries; great things are made at frontiers:

  • emotional frontiers
  • technological frontiers
  • physical frontiers
  • spiritual frontiers

So much of our life is about making things easier and more efficient. Faster, easier, more convenience.

But as a very wise man once told me, “love is not efficient.”

If you do what you love, you’re not interested in efficiency; you’re interested in engagement, in connection. 

The thing about any creative endeavor—be it a sermon, a song, a painting, or a restructure—is to engage and connect with it in such a way that moves you towards a frontier.

One of the ways this plays itself out in my life is the difference between typing on a laptop and writing with a pen: for me there’s a significant difference. Different parts of my mind (and heart) are engaged. When I want to get ideas out quickly and almost sub-consciously, I type. When I want to make sure I’m emotionally connecting with my ideas, I write.

(By the way, I approach my calendars the same way; when I need to slow down and “own” my calendar more intentionally, I start using paper. When I’m okay with feeling a little more reactionary, I use an electronic calendar.)

It may seem counter-intuitive, but is there anything you need to make more difficult, if for no other reason than to wake you up?


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