The Life Creative (4)

In Creativity and Inspiration, Rants and Sermons, The Life Creative by David17 Comments

Why am I going on about this Life Creative stuff? Most likely, it’s because in my heart I’m a preacher and I’ve always done very poorly at keeping my mouth shut. But it’s more than that. I have loved photographs since I was a kid and that love’s grown to become a love for those who create them. There’s a great scene in the movie Wonder Boys, where Michael Douglas’ character, an author, says the woman he loves is addicted to words and, luckily for him, he manufactures her drug of choice. I feel the same way. I’ve a vested interest in this art, and the ones who create it, because you all create one of my several (metaphorical) drugs of choice.  How can I not hope that this drug is the most interesting, engaging, intoxicating, addictive substance you can create?

My latest book, The Print and the Process, is about this very thing on a personal level, and I think it’ll prove to be a transitional book for me. It’s premised on the notion that why we do what we do, and how we do it, are important, because without the how and the why, we don’t have art. But it’s bigger than that. When, a couple years ago I wrote my Life is Short blog post, then set off to sell my possessions and travel the continent in my Land Rover, I caught a glimpse of a new sermon. I’ve talked a lot about vision and expression. Now I want to discuss creation itself. Intentional, unapologetically passionate creation. And if people don’t want to hear the word “passionate” one more time I suggest they go find some before they piss their lives away doing the unimportant, uninspired, or – worse – uninspiring.

It’s been an odd thing to leave a career in comedy for photography, only then to find I enjoy writing words as much as making photographs. I think my photography has benefitted a great deal from the last few years discovering my legs as a writer. What I’ve learned is that my desire to write, or to make photographs, is evidence of a larger desire: simply the longing to create. I love the act of creation. And it’s in that direction I want to move as I start outlining my next written book, something for others who love the creative life and want to live it – regardless of the kinds of things we create – intentionally and, yes, passionately. Right now I’m not sure where it’s going or what it’s going to look like; I rarely do when I begin a project, but the act of beginning is the hardest part. I’m nervous, scared of the effort ahead. Scared, as I’ve been with every book I’ve written, that it’ll fail. But the more I put my ear to the wind and strain to hear my muse, the more excited I become about this because I’ve seen what happens when people begin to openly discuss their creative process and the very real forces, like fear, that stand in our way.

Happy New Year. May 2013 be a year of wonder, creation, and the freedom to follow your muse to new places.

(To read The Life Creative (1) Follow this link…)
(To read The Life Creative (2) Follow this link…)
(To read The Life Creative (3) Follow this link…)


  1. Happy New Year!

    I’m glad I stumbled across this blog. Creation is something that’s always driven me and although “Success” in lights has evaded me up until now – not something I crave by the way – I couldn’t imagine life without the creative bug. Obviously many people do wander through life happy, never really bitten by the creative bug but for me there’s a big hole in my life when I can’t create.

    I too have dabbled in comedy – sitcoms and standup – as well as writing and recently I’ve moved in the the photo arena as it feeds another creative element within me.

    I look forward to reading more of your posts and it was nice to be reminded of the film “Wonder Boys”. I haven’t seen it in years and it’s a film that really resonated when I watched it. A trip down the rental store beckons.

    Kind regards


  2. David the theme for the new book sounds interesting. It would be awesome if you could devote some attention to how to actually get yourself to create and attain this sort of flow where you’re just creating like mad. I learned this but it did take some time.

    1. Author

      Thanks Bram – I did in fact devote that attention. A couple years ago I wrote three eBooks about the whole thing: The Inspired Eye, 1, 2, and 3. You can find them here:

      And there’s a new book in the works too. The problem, fundamentally, is that we all work so differently, so there’s no way to teach this in a how-to format. So I teach principals and spend time in conversation about the elements that contribute to creativity and flow.

  3. Pingback: Things You’ll Find Interesting January 4, 2013 | Chuq Von Rospach, Photographer and Author

  4. David ~ I’m always inspired by all you dish up, both word and image-wise. Thanks much and happy new year to you!!!

    Creating, creativity, the creative process…all great fonder for a new book. Looking forward to it. One of my all time favorite books is Twyla Tharp’s, The Creative Habit – Learn it and use it for Life, which I assume you’ve read.

    Keep the images and words a-comin’!

  5. I “feel” what you are saying…. in my life, when everything seemed to be falling to pieces around me, all I needed to do was to start the creative process, and I would start to heal.

    Its better than drugs, for it make me come alive, it brings joy to my heart and gives me the courage to continue, whatever the external circumstances.

    It‘s heartening to have someone write about these things, for they are subtle, but so very real. It give people the chance to consider and think about their creativity and its challenges.

  6. Please do not keep your mouth shut. We will be the worst off for it.
    I love your new book and left , I think a good comment on
    Keep going we all need you.
    Now for a Irish Whiskey. Cheers!!!!

  7. Greetings David,

    As a preacher you know that sometimes you are ‘preaching to the choir’. But even those of us in your choir need encouragement and prodding to review our basic beliefs and how we live them out; especially as we grow and change and our ability to think, feel, and understand changes. How often have your words, both in your books and blogs, including this one, induced me to reexamine and rethink my approach to both photography and life.

    May God continue to bless you, and through you, us.

    May 2013 be a year of further healing and creativity.

    Vaya con Dios

  8. I enjoy your writing as much as your photography and this series has been really compelling. Keep up the great work.

  9. I have taken that terrifying step, but find myself glancing back, wanting to bolt to perceived safety. Your words inspire me to stay and create, to do what my heart longs to do.

    Thank you, David. Keep on going on about it. Your passion is contagious.


    1. Author

      Thanks Brenda! That new blog is a great first step! Keep at it. 🙂

  10. The “daily lectionary” readings for the new year, interestingly enough, started again to tell he Abram Story — “Go From your house and your kindred….”. Blessing as you embark on this new journey to an unknown country, and thanks for taking us along.


  11. Anyone who’s met you wouldn’t be surprised, you’re passionate about creating. Creating words, words that come out of your mouth with fervor. Unrelenting, constant, words…

  12. Hola David, por mi parte creo que las mentes creativas simplemente lo son…se pueden buscar argumentos para justificarlo, pero lo cierto es que se valen de cualquier herramienta para crear, la comedia, la fotografía, las palabras, buscan y buscan hasta que encuentran la que les hace sentirse cómodas. Puede ser una forma de crear, pueden ser varias, quien sabe, hay tantas personas y cada una es como es.

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