10 Commandments Of Creativity

We all know the importance of the ten commandments – the golden rule for how we’re supposed to live our lives. But what about a golden rule for our creativity? Blogger Andrew Zahn developed a less sanctimonious list than Moses, but it’s a list that can be adapted to our creative lives. Here’s the list with a little commentary:

  • 1. Give space, time and energy to your creativity. // This is HARD! Our lives are busy, so it can be difficult to be intentional with creating space for us to be our creative best. But, space is important for ideas. Once we have identified an idea, we have to give it space to grow and breathe before we try to execute it. Our best ideas reach their potential when they have space and time around them. Finally, we manage energy. It’s on us. How much energy is attributed to our creativity and our craft ultimately is managed by us – the user and steward. We all have about the same amount of space and energy and we all have the same amount of time. We are going to put our space, time, and energy somewhere. Why not put it into something we value?
  • 2. Creating is an act of worship. // For those of us who are Christians, we know creating is an act of worship to the ultimate Creator of the universe. However, Zahn takes a different angle, an angle that states that when we choose to not create we are actually being “self-centered and selfish.”
  • 3. Your creativity is a gift given to you. // If we’ve been given a gift, we need to cherish, honor, and protect that gift. Even more importantly, we need to share our gifts with others. Give and it shall be given unto you.
  • 4. Date your artist. // Our greatest ideas are going to be birthed out of our experiences. Great art is created when artists are able to connect with emotions that are deep inside themselves. We have to be willing to explore those places to uncover the truths about the artist we are becoming.
  • 5. Don’t be an expert. // Experts know it all. Students are always learning. When we accept the fact that we can always learn more, each person, project, and experience becomes an opportunity to add more tools to our tool boxes. Don’t believe the hype. You are great, but you can be greater. We should talk less and listen more, but whatever we do, we should NEVER STOP LEARNING.
  • 6. Jealousy is the death of creativity. // It’s been said that jealousy is where love and hate both live together. If we want to battle jealousy, we have to do it intentionally. When we champion others, we go on the offensive against jealousy. When we want the people around us to win – no matter the cost – it not only builds great teams, but it removes the temptation to be in competition with one another. Champion and celebrate others at every opportunity.
  • 7. Don’t give up. Don’t give up. // EVER! And if you think about giving up, stop. Take a breath. Then, keep going.
  • 8. You have what it takes. . . now. // God created you. He knew you would be uniquely YOU! If you’re honest with yourself, you probably don’t think you’re good enough for the challenge in front of you. Thats GOOD! If you felt you COULD handle it, that would mean you were able to take the credit for it. When you know you can’t handle it, you have to have an element of faith and trust. Those two ingredients are activators for our best creative endeavors. So, stop doubting. Start believing. Never stop working.
  • 9. Authenticity breeds beauty. // Anyone can duplicate something that has been created. You, however, have walked a road no other artist has traveled. That road gives you the permission to create art that no other artist can create. Create out of that place, and you wont have to worry if you are duplicating.
  • 10. Want what you already have. // Stop comparing. Stop creating excuses. Stop hesitating. Use what’s in front of you, control what you can control, and create something today that moves you and your organization forward!

Do you resonate with these commandments?

14 comments Add yours
  1. This was GREAT!!!! I cannot believe I am reading this at this moment. I just finished writing a blog on “comparing” ourselves. Thank you so much for sharing this & confirming what God has spoken to me.

  2. There could’ve been a pretty good statment in that. It could’ve been inspiration for almost everyone. But instead you ruined a perfectly valid post by turning it into some shadowplay religious statement. It’s now only valid for a handful of people. Too bad.

    1. Freddi,

      WHile I respect your opinion, i could not disagree more. By no means am I forcing my belief on you but this community has every right to honor what we consider the source of our inspiration, the truest artist, the Creator. Faith really has no barring on these “commandments” Ironically, it still IS inspirational for “almost everyone”. One belief does not ruin a post just like one opinion does not make every other opinion lose validity. I hope you create the best art of your life moving forward.

  3. All belief systems that I know of recognize creation within the universe. For some, this is attributed wholly or partially to supernatural causes. For others, it is an all natural, completely rational process. But all see, and none deny, that the universe is a virtual caldron of creation; from galaxies to subatomic particles, things are combining and separating, aligning and re-aligning, making and re-making.

    Recognizing this helps but little the artist who defeats this elemental urge with various artificial limitations. To freely create, the artist must embrace this fundamental aspect of reality; that reality is creation. For a Christian, this is a relationship with God, the creator.

    But if you do not share the Christian belief system, it is no less true. Align yourself with whatever worldview/philosophy lets you grab onto a handful of creation, and make something new!

    We live, while we live, within this amazing maelstrom. We live in creation.

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