Most of us have countless demands on our time—work, parenthood, and a myriad of other responsibilities juggled alongside our roles as writers and storytellers. That can lead to a crowded mental space. Yet being an effective storyteller requires a certain sense of curiosity, of being willing to question, and to see the world in a new, wonder-filled light.
Albert Einstein once said:
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.It was true for him in the academic realm, and it’s true for us in the creative process. So how do we preserve the spark of curiosity and wonder, so essential to creativity?
The answers are as varied as the individual, but here are a few elements I find helpful:
- Maintaining an active spiritual life. God has set a spark of eternity in our hearts and designed us in His image as creators. I find that if I keep my relationship with God in first place, the rest of life flows freely. I view the process of writing as a partnership with Him. After all, He’s the ultimate well-spring of creativity!
- Making space for quiet. As an introvert, I need quiet to refuel—and also to allow ideas to simmer. This is a tricky one with young children in the house, and sometimes, it’s impossible. But even a few minutes carved out here and there make a huge difference.
- Reading excellent stories. Reading inspiring, thought-provoking novels energizes my own creative endeavors. They spark questions, cause me to contemplate new mysteries, and remind me of the power and joy of story.
- Enjoying beauty in all its forms. Whether it’s beauty in nature, compelling music, or any other form of artistic greatness, it stirs wonder and provides bountiful inspiration.
- Quality time with my kids. They approach life with boundless curiosity (cue the endless whys) and take infinite joy in learning and exploring the world. Their insatiable desire to know and understand fuels my own.