Living the Art

We’ve been told we just need to make the proclamation:

I am a writer.

We’ve been told there’s only one rule:

Content is king.

We’ve been told the path to success:

Build your platform.

And yet, day after day, we read the story of those who have made the statement, written the content, and built the platform and still feel





Why is that? What is it about pursuing the craft that leaves us drained?

A few weeks ago my husband and I attended the Creative conference sponsored by Worship Leader Magazine.   I sat in rooms with writers who are passionate about using their gifts and abilities to point others to Christ.   I was challenged and encouraged by speakers who shared their stories of both success and failure.  And I was reminded of something I’d lost:

Writing is not merely a craft, it’s an art.

When we do a craft, we know the end result before we begin.  But art?  Art is different … we don’t know where the painting will end when we pick up the brush.  We can’t always predict where the words will take us when we pick up our pen.

Yes, we study the rules, the procedures, the mechanics of our art.

But even more, we must live art.  Our hearts explore where the words are not yet able to articulate.

explore the path

And as we live … the art grows.  It breathes.  It expands.

Art fills up the spaces we didn’t even know we had.

Before we can ever write, ever create the art, we have to live.

We must breathe deeply the smell of baby powder on freshly bathed babies.

We must gaze deeply into the eyes of the one with whom we’ve pledged for richer, for poorer.

We must touch often the hand and faces of those we love.

We must live … wide open, with abandon.

living the art

Because art comes from life.  Never, ever the other way around.

How do you live art?

 {Linking up with Michelle at Thought Provoking Thursdays}

15 Replies to “Living the Art”

  1. Love, love, love this thought: “We must live … wide open, with abandon.” Amen, my friend, amen!
    Stefanie Brown recently posted…Intentional {Acceptance} ~ Why I Had No Clue Who I Was…My Profile

    1. Thank you, Stefanie!! Praying through this idea and allowing the Lord to lead me in it has been a beautiful journey these past few weeks.

  2. So encouraging for me today, and I’m reminded that as “Art comes from life,” life just takes time to live out. You (I!!) really can’t rush the growth of the art. On that journey with you, friend.

    1. Oh Julie, it is a journey, isn’t it? So thankful to be walking this path with precious soul-friends like you.

  3. Writing is not an art, it’s a craft. How true this is. I think it’s easy to lose site of the love of the craft and get caught up in the parts that don’t matter. Thanks for the reminder!

  4. I love this Terry. You are doing a great work over here my friend!
    Katie @ Imperfect People recently posted…Hereditary Hemochromatosis, what you need to knowMy Profile

  5. Yes and yes and yes again. I am a writer and my husband is a musician. We have both recognized that the most beautiful things we create come when we are wide open. When we don’t obsessively follow rules, but allow God to inhabit the process and guide, for His glory. Both of us are in our forties and it is the seasoning of time and life experience that has brought us to a place where we can be more fully ourselves AND more fully God’s. Well, we are more fully ourselves BECAUSE we are more fully His, yes? And the art reflects that. Love this topic. Frequently discussed in our home.

    1. The 40s are a great season of life, aren’t they? Love this:

      Both of us are in our forties and it is the seasoning of time and life experience that has brought us to a place where we can be more fully ourselves AND more fully God’s.

      My husband (also a musician) and I are finding this true in our lives as well.

  6. Brooke McGlothlin (@BrookeWrites) says: Reply

    We’re on the same page you and me 🙂

    1. I believe you are correct. 🙂

  7. Invitation to the Avodah Life: Where Work, Worship, and Service Become One says: Reply

    […]  He beckoned me to invite others to join me for an amazing summer journey.   He reminded me that we live then we create art.  In the midst of all of that, the thumping of a new heartbeat … Avodah.  Work.  Worship. […]

  8. Thank you for these thoughts – especially liked this: “Writing is not merely a craft, it’s an art.” And this “And as we live … the art grows. It breathes. It expands.” Good things to think on … thanks!

    1. Thank you. I appreciate your kind comment.

  9. This is beautiful, Teri Lynne! I love the thought that art comes from life. Your statement that “we must live … wide open, with abandon” is awesome! Those thoughts do make writing feel lighter and more creative. I shared your post at the Spring Snow Publications Facebook page:
    Deb from Spring Snow Publications recently posted…Balancing Motherhood and WritingMy Profile

    1. Thank you for sharing with your readers!

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