Create by Stephen Altrogge: Just what I needed and what you might need too

By Trillia Newbell

creat by stephen altrogge

Doing anything that takes initiative and thought can be quite difficult. Doing something that is creative can be downright terrifying. If it’s not fear that holds us back from creating it may be laziness, doubt or perhaps a perceived lack of time. Whatever it is, it might just be an excuse and Stephen Altrogge wants to kick us in the bottom to stop making excusing and just create already. He sets out to accomplish this in his new ebook Create: Stop Making Excuses and Start Making Stuff.

Create is divided into 10 short chapters. It’s an extremely easy read and in Altrogge fashion, filled with wit. His argument is that we are all creative because we are made in God’s image who is the ultimate creator, but we are tempted not to create because of fears, obstacles, or various circumstances. At the end of each chapter Altrogge asks two questions that aren’t simply questions, but calls to action. He wants us to get started. Mixing instruction, Scripture, humor and practical advice, Altrogge’s Create will help you jump start your project with the view that God has designed you for the task, God will provide all your needs for the project and he will reward you for your effort.  Yet, Altrogge is realistic sharing we may never write a hymn like “Amazing Grace” or be as renowned as (think of your favorite author) but if our identity is in Christ and our aim is to step out in faith and use the gifts God has provided, it won’t matter. As a matter of fact, we should simply expect to be lousy and just continue creating.

Altrogge says:

“But if you’re going to pursue creativity, you’ve got to be okay with being lousy. You’ve got to be okay with stinking it up for a while.  Maybe a long time.

This brings us back to the question of identity. Is your identity wrapped up in your ability to be a poet or blogger or sales manager, or is your identity wrapped up in Christ…If your identity is tied into Christ, you can be okay with being just okay. It doesn’t matter what people think of you because you are rooted in Christ,” (293-294, Kindle edition).

Create was exactly what I needed to read as a writer. I’m eager to put his practical suggestions into practice and I’m not going to wait! He challenges us to get started, to make an effort, and to be faithful. I’m up for the challenge. But most of all, my faith is stirred. My confidence is not in my ability rather it’s in God’s goodness and grace. Altrogge reminded me that my affirmation comes from God. If you’ve been waiting to start your creative project or have begun but have been hesitant to finish, whether it be writing, scrapbooking or designing clothes, Create will motivate you by grace to get started and continue to the end.


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