7in7 – Blank Spaces

Aaron Ivey 7in7 Leave a Comment

blank sheet of paper.

pen full of ink.

guitar in hand.

waiting.

nothing.

feels like there’s nothing to say, but everything to say.

a few fragmented melodies and a handful of over-used cliche lyrics are all I have.

so, I push the chair away from the table, set the guitar down, and leave with nothing but disappointment and self-loathing.

you’ve probably been in that same chair as many times as I have. whether it’s songwriting, poetry, or any other bearing-your-soul-onto-canvas sort of art, the artist has the daunting task of filling up blank spaces with bits of themselves and their experiences — and there’s nothing comfortable about that.

a few years ago, I read a book that profoundly challenged me as a songwriter. it wasn’t a book about music… it wasn’t a book about being a better lyricist… it wasn’t a book about formulas for the perfect pop song. if I could sum it up in a sentence and personally rename the title, it would be — “Hey man, stop trying to write songs and just write something everyday.” it challenged me to get into a discipline and rhythm of writing constantly, and downplayed the pressure to conjure something up every time i sat down.

truth is, when we try to sit down and write a song, it rarely works. sure, we all crave some profound moment where inspiration strikes and a song just pops out. there’s the hopes for the perfect sunset, the exact right vibe in the room, and the magical moment when a phrase of well-manicured lyrics suddenly pop into our head. but let’s be honest…that doesn’t really happen. and instead of sitting and hoping for these to happen…and being frustrated when they don’t…i want to offer you a better, more realistic, and more honest way of approaching creating.

just write something. anything.

today. and tomorrow. and the next day.

free yourself from the anxiety of creating something awesome today.

just create something. today. everyday.

this is where the idea of 7in7 came from. it’s exercising the creative muscle (if you will), by forcing yourself to put pen to paper, shutter to editing software, keystroke to blinking cursor. every single day, you’re waking up with the objective to create something…and the freedom to fail. you don’t have to create seven awesome things, because that’s not the goal. the goal is to incorporate a rhythm in your life of constantly creating…always writing…always re-visioning the world around you and filling up blank spaces with pieces of you.

so, don’t be afraid of the blank sheet of paper.

don’t fear the blinking cursor or the empty canvas.

don’t let the worry of failure cripple you.

you’ve been given the gift of creativity and the opportunity to fill blank spaces.

so, fill it with honesty and vulnerability. and do it everyday.

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About Aaron Ivey

Aaron is the Pastor of Worship & Creativity at The Austin Stone Community Church. Aaron lives in Austin with his wife Jamie, and four children: Cayden, Deacon, Amos and Story.

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