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Book Review: Creativity and Divine Surprise

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Subtitle: Finding the Place of Your Resurrection. Author: Karla M. Kincannon. Published by Upper Room Books, 2005.

Author Kincannon makes the most of her roles as artist and United Methodist minister in this wonderful “tour” of the creative process. Written for artists, the principles apply equally to writers. The chapters are organized to take you from the beginning of the creative process all the way to the end, giving instruction and encouragement all along the way.

Because the Amazon listing does not have the “look inside” feature, I’ll share the table of contents with you. Chapters are: Invitation, Encounter, Preparation, Frustration, Incubation, Illumination, and Elaboration. Organized as a study book, each chapter begins with an inspirational quote and ends with an exercise. If you are a writer instead of an artist, you can do the exercises with a journal, pen, colored markers, and some type of art paper. I confess that I read the book, but I have yet to do the exercises.

At times I felt that Kincannon was talking directly to me. She identified all the things that keep me from being creative. She addresses the feelings of inadequacy and even incompetence that all artists feel now and then. Her discussion of perfectionism hit home for me. She pointed out that perfectionists “need a reaction from others to form their identity.” She said each new inspiration we receive is a gift from God, an invitation to a “new life of creativity in partnership with God.” The creative process is a reflection of life itself—birth, struggle, death, rebirth.

Being an artist/writer is not easy—but you knew that. Get this book and study through it, letting the lessons help you organize your thoughts. Soak up the encouragement that each pages offers. It’s well worth the time and effort.

Check it out on Amazon: Creativity and Divine Surprise: Finding the Place of Your Resurrection

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