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?