Creativity Devotional – Painful Rest?

Beautiful snowy day.

Creative work makes me happy, but the subsequent pauses for the rest are all the more painful, for then one begins to think things over.

~ Hugo Wolf, composer


Each time I read the quote above I seem to get a little different meaning. At first I thought that this quote would hit close to home with many artists. After looking at the quote several more times and giving it thought, I am not so sure.

Being creative gives great joy. Not being creative causes pain. Is that what Wolf was trying to say or am I simplifiying it too much?

We all need to pause to rest. Even God rested after creating the world. Rest rejuvenates the spirit. Is being at rest considered painful by Wolf because he then has time to think about what he has created and he begins to doubt himself and his work? Or is rest painful because it hurts to not create? 

I know that when I am not able to create, I get a little out of sorts. I become irritable and grouchy. It isn’t that I’m feeling pain, but I do get anxious. I yearn to be in my art room. I begin to resent obligations that don’t allow me time to create. I end up with a million ideas running through my mind that I want to act on. Too many ideas.

Is that what Wolf was talking about? I would love to hear your ideas on this subject. Comments are loved here!  Spam is not.



Thank you for the ability to create. Thank you for drive, desire, thoughts, and ideas. Thank you for beauty in the world that inspires us to create. Please allow us to have the time to create and the time to rest. Allow us to be at peace when we are doing either. Thy will be done in all things.

In Christ’s Name,



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3 Responses to Creativity Devotional – Painful Rest?

  1. Pingback: Creativity Solutions » Creativity Devotional – Painful Rest?

  2. David Kline says:

    The happier one is when creating, the more “painful” it is when not creating. Higher highs create lower lows. I think your interpretation is right on. I’m not sure what he meant by “think things over.” That’s probably a good thing, because we can interpret it however we choose. My guess is that when we are not creating, we tend to be second guessing that which we have created. Perhaps God has done the same thing a few times. 🙂

  3. David,

    Sometimes we just need to let our art “be”. It is hard to do that. Thank you for your insight.

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