You Look Good on Paper

I truly believe that a major component in what makes people happy in life is finding a way to be creative. When people have an outlet for their creativity, it makes them happy. When people don’t have any way to be creative in life, they tend to be less happy, maybe even frustrated. In fact, as I’ve written in Spiritual Blueprint, I believe that creativity is one of the ways we are made in the image of God, so that to be creative is, on one hand, one of the very things that makes us human, and on the other hand, it’s one of the things that connects us to God. God is Creator, and God created you to be a creator, too!

The trick, of course, is finding a way to be creative. I’m convinced everyone can be creative, but many people haven’t found their niche. For me, I like to write songs, take some photographs, but lately the creative outlet that’s taking up most of my time and energy is writing.

It used to be that only a few people could write, and actually have people read what they wrote. But that’s not true any more. Nowadays, it seems like everyone has a blog. The bad news is that this means my blog is nothing special. But the good news is that you don’t need to be published in a book to have an audience.

If you do aspire to be a published author, or just want to improve your writing skills, consider coming to this year’s Writer’s Institute at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. I’ll be presenting a couple of workshops, but there will be a lot of other workshops and presentations. Here’s the website:

So how do you exercise your creativity? You know, you don’t have to be “artsy” to be creative. Creativity could be anything from scrapbooking to creating a fantasy sports team. It could be anything from painting to stamp collecting, from working on your car to training a puppy. Maybe it’s cooking, or pottery, or songwriting. In fact, as I write this, my wife is watching video product reviews on YouTube – apparently people make YouTube videos reviewing a few of their favorite things – with regular updates like a video blog. And these videos are getting tens of thousands of views (which, you may be surprised to learn, is more than my Church History lectures).

You can’t ignore this – you are hardwired to be creative. Of course, if you are raising children, that can require a lot of creativity. If you’re a parent, do you think of your role as creative? You should. Another way to be creative is to get involved in something you’re passionate about. Do you care about the homeless? Then volunteer at a homeless shelter, or get involved in a food bank, or some other ministry to help the poor. What kinds of things do you care about? How can you do something about it?

If you haven’t yet figured out what your creative outlet is, start by trying to think about how you might be able to express yourself in words – put your soul out there, as it were. Try putting your thoughts (and your passions) down “on paper” (or on video). Find your voice!


Jim Papandrea

Wedding of the Lamb

Spiritual Blueprint



About Jim Papandrea

Jim Papandrea is an author, educator, and singer/songwriter. Visit his website at:
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