Overcoming the Blank Page

By now I bet many of you have heard about Blaine Hogan’s first book titled, Untitled (don’t worry, you’re not a loser if you haven’t heard of the book, it only released 10 days ago). Yep, Untitled, that’s the real title. And it’s something he explains in the first few pages of the book. While it does make for a good conversation starter, it fits how he deals with the blank page and the creative process perfectly.

As a church musician I am thrust into this creative process every single day. But I don’t consider myself an artist because my thought process is more management focused. Part of this just comes from personality, and part of it comes from my undergrad studies in business administration. When I’m forced to be creative in the moment, I can’t do it. Creativity seems to come at random for me.

Most people tend to think of the creative process like dreaming; not everyone does it, and even less understand it.

And this is exactly what made Blaine’s book a success to me. He made the creative process accessible and understandable for even people who often shy away from creative things.

Here are some of my favorite lines from the book to whet your appetite:

  • “Vision is easy. Ideas are even easier. It’s execution that separates the amateurs from the pros.”
  • “If I were the boil down the goal of all my creative work it would be this: Move people.”
  • “The best works of art are the ones that don’t set out to prove a point but that set out to tell a story, create a relationship, seek to put into words or pictures an unexplainable feeling.”
  • “When you don’t take your failures personally you open them up to becoming experiences that can transform you.”
  • “If we are going to create truly meaningful art, if we are going to give our lives over to such a process of creativity, then we must fight tooth and nail to capture what others are missing.”

A truly great book, all for less than a coffee date at Stumptown with a friend. Blaine is someone who completely understands the creative process. I love that he’s a young author going for it in the book publishing arena. I also love that he has something valuable to share to people who engage in the creative process and to people who are too scared to even think about it.

When you think of the creative process, what comes to mind?

(Check out this interview with Blaine and Kyle about the book, and this post from David about the book as well)