“The lost art of the sentence”

…this is a quote from Andrew Peterson during his interview with Randy Elrod at the Recreate Conference.

Andrew is an amazing singer/songwriter and Founder of the Rabbit Room and quite the Artisan – he’s all about his craft. He was discussing how, in his view, in the modern world we knock out books, we write chapters, we blast through paragraphs but we’ve stopped crafting the sentence – we don’t take time over the detail.

During his talk it was almost a passing comment but it really stuck with me. As a singer/songwriter myself but particularly as a worship leader and business leader I’m regularly in a place where my ability to convey an idea or capture a moment is everything I rely on. And yet, really, truly, how often do I take the time to actually ‘craft’ my sentences?

If I’m honest – not often.

I’m a wing-it kind of guy and I’m often at my strongest acting on the spur of the moment or dealing with situations on the fly but I’ve felt really challenged of late not to let this strength become an excuse. I want to write and record a worship album this year and I’m engaged in an increasing amount of public speaking at work

…and so ‘the lost of the sentence’ is buzzing round my head reminding me that I need to really sit down and craft my words.

Andrew Peterson played a show at Recreate with his fellow artists at Rabbit Room all of whom were amazing – particularly Andy Gullahorn – these guys REALLY knows how to craft a lyric – exquisite emotion but enough ambiguity to let you paint your own picture and own what they’re saying – you NEED to check their stuff out!

Another inspiration was Ken Davis on his talk about living as a Creative. I mentioned him in my last blog but he deserves mention again as a master craftsman of public speaking. For 45 mins he just told a few stories and one minute you were laughing and one minute you were crying – It was SO engaging.

The most striking thing though was when I looked at my notes.

I’ve pasted them below, just as I’d written them down listening to his stories – look at them – no mention of his stories in of themselves, just total life application for me – one sentence after another with the most profound truth (check the last one out – this is exactly what he did!):

Healthy relationships work through conflict. There’s no such a thing as no conflict

Most people long to be alive and don’t feel even close

Creatives only feel good when they’re living to the maximum extent

The Glory of God is man fully alive

Millions of people die at 25 but don’t get buried till 75. They die with their song still in them

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection (this came from another master communicator – Paul!)

This life is not a waiting room for heaven

Comfortable, neutral, lazy & boring – a life of leisure is a life of death

Life comes from discipline

A body in motions stay in motion, a body in rest, rests in peace

Do I do what I do to live or to make a living?

The opposite of discipline is death

Failure is the price tag of success

We’re called to run the race not win it

Creatives should inspire other creatives as well as doing the business themselves

This guy has mastered the art of the sentence!

And I plan to as well…

As well as some great new songs, hopefully I might even blog a bit better in the future too!


About finchleymusic

Businessman, Singer/songwriter, traveller, worship leader & mentor
This entry was posted in Belief, Business, Faith, People, psychology, work and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to “The lost art of the sentence”

  1. JohnG says:

    Some great, and very quotable, one liners in there Ian. Thanks for posting them up! Glad to hear you are planning a worship album this year – look forward to hearing it!

    Looking at your last sentence, I’m glad to see the lost art of crafting an excellent sentence doesn’t mean we have to erradicate tipos? 😉

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