The Rhythm of Rest


Is restoration a regular part of your creative process?

From my years as a publisher, speaker, and consultant to thousands of writers, I can tell you most creatives don’t make time for this.

And that neglect has a toxic effect for artists and their art. Because how can anyone authentically create works filled with life from a heart that is overwhelmed, striving, and burnt out?

A big part of the problem is how we view the normal rhythm of life. For many, it goes like this: Work hard all day. Constantly do more. Rest as little as possible. Then work hard again. Do even more. Repeat endlessly.

In other words, restoration is the inconvenient, inefficient pause that we try to minimize in order to maximize our work. We push ourselves to the limit all year, believing a week’s vacation will miraculously replenish us for the next year. That’s not a rhythm of rest. It’s a recipe for implosion. Imagine neglecting your heart for years and it finally gives out. Emergency surgery saves you. Upon release, you thank the medical team for restoring your heart as you make an appointment for the same procedure next year because success in your art takes priority over care for your heart.

That would be insane, right? Yet that’s often how we treat our hearts. God made us with the daily need for heart and soul care. Not emergency surgery after we break down but intentional daily heart and soul care. “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23)

Did you catch that? God tells us our heart matters far more than our art. Heart and soul care is the absolute first priority because everything flows from it. So why do we tend to put it off?


For artists, that fear usually whispers one of these thoughts to us:

  • Time is short. You are behind. Hurry or your career will fail.

  • You are only valued for what you do. So do more.

  • Don’t risk being original. Do what’s been done since that works.

  • If you take a break from social media, fans will move on.

  • Caring for your heart can wait. The priority is the project at hand.

All these statements are fear-driven lies. They will not fuel your creativity. They will not produce success that matters. Left unchecked, they will erode your creativity.

It’s time to stop letting fear overtake your calendar, overwhelm your heart, and sabotage your art. I invite you to join me on this journey. At its foundation is the belief we maximize our gifting and creativity when we put heart and soul care above everything else, including our current projects. It means infusing our days with space to actively and intimately experience God, awaken our hearts, and dream big with the One who infused us with those unique passions and dreams.

Make that the rhythm of your day and experience the joy of being a replenished, renewed, and restored artist.

© Allen Arnold, 2019

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