Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Coleridge: Being Creative Is Not Enough

I linked a few days ago to Steven Furtick's blog. He wrote

"Some people fancy themselves as being “creative”, or ”creative-types” because they have a lot of ideas. Cool. You have ideas. So does my 3 year old. That doesn’t make you creative...An idea without implementation isn’t creation...

By definition, being creative requires that you create something".

If you ever needed a concrete example of what Steven was talking about then consider the sad example of Samuel Taylor Coleridge...

Coleridge is the supreme tragedy of indiscipline.
Never did so great a mind produce so little. He left Cambridge University to join the army; he left the army because, in spite of all his erudition, he could not rub down a horse; he returned to Oxford and left without a degree. He began a paper called The Watchman which lived for ten numbers and then died. It has been said of him: "He lost himself in visions of work to be done, that always remained to be done.

Coleridge had every poetic gift but one--the gift of sustained and concentrated effort." In his head and in his mind he had all kinds of books, as he said, himself, "completed save for transcription." "I am on the eve," he says, "of sending to the press two octave volumes." But the books were never composed outside Coleridge's mind, because he would not face the discipline of sitting down to write them out. No one ever reached any eminence, and no one having reached it ever maintained it, without discipline.

William Barclay: The Gospel Of Matthew (p.323)


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