The Anxious Artist: Why worry and creativity don’t mix

“My future starts when I wake up every morning. Every day I find something creative to do with my life.” – Miles Davis

So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. – Matthew 6:31-32 (NLT)

“The Fantasticks”, the longest running musical in history, has been presented in theaters for over 50 years and has amassed over 20,000 performances. However, when the show opened in 1960, the reviews were so bad that the director assumed the show would be cancelled immediately.

Like that musical director, you may be uncertain about your future as an artist.   Every day for the artist is an exercise in hope.  We work hard, but much of our success depends on the right opportunities coming our way.

If we’re not careful, our desire for success can turn into worry. Rather than cherishing our blessings today, we obsess over whether we’ll have opportunities tomorrow.

Our creativity can’t flourish when we are consumed with worry.

Consider Jesus, who had only three years to accomplish everything he had to do on earth. He had the most important job in the world, but was never anxious about the future.  “Each day has enough trouble of its own,” he said.

Perhaps we musicians could say it like this; “Each gig / performance / service has enough trouble of its own.”  Our next performance is not promised, so we should focus on the here and now.  Our fellow musicians and our audiences deserve our best effort, which only happens when we embrace the moment.

Each day, make a conscious decision to trust God as he guides you in your career. Planning ahead is wise, but don’t become anxious about what comes next. Savor the blessings you enjoy as a creative artist, knowing that He will provide for you every step of the way.


If you enjoyed this post, you will also enjoy the book, “God and Gigs” to be released this spring.  Click here to learn more and to pre-order the book.




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