by Andrea Ford
1. Would you call yourself "creative"? Why or why not?
Yes, I would. Not in terms of craft-work, perhaps (although once upon a time I did a fair amount of cross-stitch), but in terms of making something new that wasn’t there before. My creative bent is more with words—sermons, prayers, blogs, fiction—and with a garden. The first takes lots of editing—which took me a while to learn. It’s OK to re-write a paragraph or a prayer or a whole sermon completely—that’s how you get to the point where it needs to be. Your first effort is almost never exactly what you want—the discipline and the skill is reworking it—removing, adding, changing—to get it to the place it needs to be. In gardening, creating takes patience. You have a vision, as you do in writing, of the end product, but it takes a lot longer. And you have to be willing to partner with Nature—you may think Four O’Clocks would be perfect in a certain corner, but if it gets too hot there, they will never grow, and your vision has to be altered. Sometimes you don’t know until you’ve tried something whether it will work or not (whether you’re writing or gardening), and you have to be willing to uproot/delete what just isn’t working. Maybe you move it to another bed/piece of writing, but you take it out of the place where it doesn’t work.
2. Share a creative or artistic pursuit you currently do that you'd like to develop further.
As every even semi-regular reader of this blog knows, I want to write more, be published, get my ideas out there and get some feedback. I do get some here, and that’s great—but I think there’s maybe a wider audience out there.
3. Share a creative or artistic pursuit you have never done but would like to try.
I’d love to try working with stained glass. I see so many nice things—suncatchers, panels for screens, windows, church pieces—that I’d love to know more about how they are made and the limitations and the freedoms of stained glass.
4. Complete this sentence: "I am in awe of people who can _____________."
Compose music. Oh, I once pasted together a simple psalm response for a seminary class (pass/fail, luckily), but anyone who can work not only with multiple chords and harmony but different instruments and voices, who is familiar with the different keys and when you might want to use one over another…I am awed.
5. Share about a person who has encouraged your creativity, who has "called you to your best self." (I'm pretty sure that's from the Gospel of Oprah).
Oh, my. I can’t name one person. I have been blessed with many people who have encouraged and supported and praised my efforts, from my mother’s praise for my elementary school poetry to professors in library school who appreciated my more creative papers to seminary professors who encouraged me to create liturgies to my colleagues and superiors now who compliment my sermons and worship services to the readers of this blog who say, “Well done,” or “beautiful,” or “this post was so moving.” If I don’t make my creative goals, it won’t be for lack of encouragement and support!