Ultimate Climate of Creativity by David Van Diest

NCWA welcomes David Van Diest from D.C. Jacobson Author Management. David will be at NCWA’s Renewal Conference. See end of post for details.

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Recently, some colleagues and I were in a lunch meeting with representatives from a prominent Christian publishing company. I was sitting at the end of a long table. The conversation I was having with the person directly across from me began to sputter, and then died altogether. As I stared at my half eaten meal, I refocused my attention to the other end of the table. That is when I heard this…

“The logical thinking approach is dead. It’s the creative types that are going to take over the world.”

… or something close to that.

I was so shocked that I nearly fell off my chair. I’ve never separated those two ideas (logic and creativity) and in fact believe they are inextricably linked. I waited for someone─ anyone ─to ask what he meant by that. No one did. Time passed and the incident faded into the recesses of my memory─ until the other day.

I was killing time on Facebook (that’s what Facebook is for, by the way) when one of my Christian writer friends posted this:

“There are some parts of the brain where intelligence is null and void. Where the only logical answer is not to encourage intelligence, but instead encourage chaos. It can only be through chaos that the skill of the writer can grow.”

WHAT!!!!!?????? Once again it was a good thing I didn’t lose my balance and fall off the chair.  I responded:

“Interesting! The fact that you can articulate this idea seems to argue against it. In fact, it’s because you can put intelligence to this thought that gives it the potential to have any semblance of usefulness. However, chaos, by its very definition, is confusion; and confusion can’t produce growth. Your thoughts?”

They never responded.

There seems to be a growing belief that logic or “linear thought” is a road block to creativity and progress, and those who employ this reasoning are at best impeding creativity and progress, or at worst the crux of the problem. Simply calling someone a “linear thinker” these days is an easy way to denigrate them to irrelevance.

The scary thing is I’m not just hearing this ideology in secular circles anymore but amongst Christians and from Christian writers. Ideas of chaos and randomness are elevated and praised, while logic, reason, and clear mindedness are belittled.

The most creative being is God and there can be no true creativity outside of Him. Order and reason are a crucial part of His creativity─ and ours, just look at the world around us.  Creativity and chaos/randomness are diametrically opposed ideas. Creativity demands reason and logic; and springs up from the foundation of order, thought and understanding. To say that creativity is dependent upon chaos is, in essence, to say that God must be kept out of the creative process. How convoluted is that? The Creator Being excluded from the creation process?

As a little exercise, read these two groups of words and apply them to either God or Satan.

Group One: Randomness, chaos, confusion, disorder, misinformation

Group Two: Creativity, order, truth, logic

Don’t believe the lie that’s telling us not to put reason firmly in her seat. Real creativity is full of logic, reason, and thought; these concepts are found throughout the Bible; while ideas that are attributed to Satan are confusion, destruction, misinformation, randomness, and chaos.

Don’t be fooled by the lion that is roaming around seeking whom he can destroy.  Creative writing that glorifies God is full of order, truth, and logic.

So, how do you lean on God for creativity?

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At NCWA’s Renewal Conference, David Van Diest, Agent, D.C. Jacobson Author Management will be presenting: “A View from the Inside of Publishing.”

Click on the right-hand sidebar conference button for more information.

Since starting in publishing in 1988, David Van Diest has worked directly with many leading Christian publishers, ministries, and bestselling authors including Max Lucado, Karen Kingsbury, and Chuck Swindoll. He’s worn a variety of hats in the past 20+ years, including marketing director, vice president of sales and literary agent. While in marketing at Multnomah, David wrote the marketing plan for a little book called The Prayer of Jabez, which surprised everyone by selling over 10 million copies. He believes that the best books are yet to be written.

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6 thoughts on “Ultimate Climate of Creativity by David Van Diest

  1. I’m glad people are starting to see the importance of intuition/insight in intelligence and creativity, but to do so at the expense of reason, logic, and even linearity is short-sighted and ultimately ineffective. Thank you for pointing out how logic and reason are integral, not opposed, to creativity. Especially for writers, it’s imperative that we have a deep sense of how logic and creativity are married: without the logic of grammar and sentence structure and words themselves, we can’t articulate, let alone communicate, our thoughts or ideas.

    (Somehow I missed the two groups of words that I was supposed to apply to either God or Satan. I’m curious what they were.)

    Like

  2. Thank you! I’m afraid if I was told that I had to be chaotic and random in order to be creative, I would be excluded from the process. I just spent two hours mapping out the little imaginary town which is the setting of my current book, I also mapped a floor plan of the houses belonging to the two main characters. To me it was important to ‘see’ where my characters were living their lives.

    Your argument for Creativity, order, truth, logic was perfect. I’m glad I read it.

    Like

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