In Life - Debriefed

My writing life has always been typified to some degree by bursts of creativity, followed by a lull of relative quiet. I am referring mostly to my purely creative efforts (songwriting and arranging), rather than the mountain of writing that I did on assignment (jingles and TV music).  In those cases, I wrote because I was being paid to write, whether I felt particularly creative or not. (There is nothing like the pressure of a broadcast deadline to get the creative juices flowing.)  But these days, most of my writing is because I “want to” – not because I “have to.”  (Trust me, I still need to write for financial reasons – but I don’t feel so much pressure as I have in the past to kick out a song or a seasonal choral work just for the money.)

Lately, I have been in one of those creative bursts.  It has lasted  for at least six months, perhaps closer to a year.  In that time, I have written songs (very good songs, I think), a handful of traditional choral pieces, re-wrote a musical from my past (Actually, I am still doing that.), written two versions of a rhyming children’s book for Christmas, written several “spec” scripts for a children’s TV product (which has not materialized – but I still did the writing), and edited my songwriting book (more about that in another post).  I love these times – when the creative side of my brain is in charge of my days.

As my creative bursts go, this a pretty long one.  Maybe it’s been several shorter bursts – all very close to one another.  Still, I’m wondering if the reason for this stretch of creativity lies in the variety of the work I’ve done.  I’ve worked on wide range of projects – and that has perhaps kept me in the game longer than usual.

Whatever the reason – I’m grateful.  I like the manic creative times.  I know the quiet lulls that come in between are probably necessary – to recharge and renew. But the creative periods are exciting.

  • Steve C.

    Dear Mr. Sterling,
    I agree completely. I am not nearly as accomplished as you, but also find that the most productive and meaningful writing I do comes from “I want to” times, or maybe better put, “God wants me to” times. I have written dramas for the stage and find sometimes that the one who benefits most from them, at least for now, is myself. Some of the time spent in tears as we work on something for our Lord and pour ourselves into it and think about the possibilities it might possess, are the closest times we have with God.
    Keep up the good work.
    Also, and I apologize for putting this here, but your “contact us” button on the website isn’t working, feel free to delete this part if you want after reading: My church is doing “One Voice” for Easter this year. I play the part of Joseph. During the song ,”In My World”, some of the notes are hard for me to hit. I was wondering if you had a different accompanyment track available in different keys?
    Thank you and God bless.

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