Storyteller Wednesday: What about Creative People?

Do you belong?  What is it about creative people that they don’t belong, not exactly, not entirely – anywhere.  Artists, musicians, writers, certainly storytellers are never quite comfortable with the routines of work, school, family life, relationships.

Play is often a creative exercise in itself.

Work is never a comfortable subject.  Many creative people, if unable to find work in their desired creative field (such as being unable to make a living with their writing) often drift through work and careers like fall leaves in the wind.

Family life and relationships are hard when the one wants full attention but the other has their mind on the next chapter or the melody or the colors in motion.  It is a wonder such people get married; but just look at Hollywood to see how well marriage sometimes works out.

Creative people are not necessarily outliers, but they are often outsiders.  Many are content to sit back and observe rather than participate.  Oh, participation is very important when it is related in some way to the creation, but in general observation is the norm.  And people recognize this in the creative types and often treat creative people a bit like outsiders.

Being absorbed in a truly creative project can be overwhelming and not leave much room for other people.  It takes a special kind of spouse to understand this.  It takes understanding children and an understanding boss – if such things exist.  You can give a dissertation to a creative soul and have them say when you are done, “What?  I’m sorry, were you saying something?”

Creative people belong where the creative act is ongoing.  Creative people do not necessarily belong anywhere in what most call daily, regular, ordinary life.  Listen.

D. L. Moody once had a young man in his office who said he felt called to be a preacher.  Moody asked the young man if there was anything else he enjoyed.  “Why, yes.  I love mechanical things, working on and fixing cars.”

Moody responded, “Then go be the best auto mechanic you can be.  If you are called to preach, God won’t let you do anything else.”

That is sort of the way it is for creative people.  The art, music, craft, storytelling generally won’t let a person do anything else.  When driven to do other things, there is always the sense of being a bit of an outsider, like, “This is not where I belong.”

Hence the question.  Do you belong?

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