comments 6

the list: thing 4

rocking the rework

up until recently, i never considered myself a particularly creative person. those of you who know me, especially those in the uk, will probably laugh outloud at this. it’s like me saying i didn’t think i was an extrovert until recently. but it’s true!

i think there are various reasons for this. i was pretty insecure growing up. i wanted to be liked and taking creative risks wasn’t a part of that. we moved around a lot as well and i think that when i had to keep focusing on starting over, i didn’t think much about being creative. i had the odd moments of writing a story, or a play. or having a go at making some clothes. i was always rearranging my room and enjoyed drawing. but for some reason i didn’t consider any of these things as essentially creative.

i am beginning to realise now that this was because i didn’t feel like i was inventing anything. i was re-doing things. copying drawings i had seen elsewhere. making old clothes cuter. re-arranging the same old furniture. writing stories that were spin offs of ones i had already heard. even in college, when i was taking a screen writing class, the screen play i tried to write out of thin air sucked. like really sucked. my professor confirmed this fact and ten pages in, told me to start over. so i did. i started to write a modernisation of gone with the wind. i pretty much kept the same script (like modern shakespeare films) but totally changed the location, actions and war type. it was a re-make. and i got an a.

i have learned a lot about myself in the past 8 years. i think moving to england was the making of me. i was thrown into the deep end, and after nearly drowning–seriously–i came out knowing who i was, and being pretty confident in that. it’s been a pretty cool experience. freaking hard, but a result i wouldn’t trade.

one of the things that i have learned is that i am very creative, just not in the obvious way, or in a way i recognised when i was younger. i am not brilliant at inventing things, but i am pretty damn good at building something cool out of an existing framework. and that is creativity! the god who made me invented the universe. dreamed up stars and trees and people and anteaters out of nothing. but he is also the god who repairs what is broken and creates beauty from ashes. my husband is an inventor. he comes up with design ideas all day long and they are amazing. i think i would suck at that. but give me an old chair, a tired old house, a hymn with great words but an ancient tune, and i can rock it. and i really enjoy it!

i love making something beautiful again. i love living counter to this throw away culture by valuing something old and making it relevant again. you can call it up-cycling, re-making, whatever. i love doing it and it gives me life, so it’s on the list. it is also going to be a new blog feature. not as regular as my new (old thing), but i am going to be posting my re-works as and when i do them.

and…wait for it…i will also be taking submissions! if any of you love re-working old stuff as well and want to share, i would love to see it and feature it on staying awake. it can be anything: clothes, furniture, songs, houses. whatever.

please send submission to: with the subject as, ROCK THE REWORK SUBMISSION, and include, 1) a before and after photo, 2) a small description of your inspiration for the idea and 3) a little how to, just in case someone wants to try it out for themselves.

i can’t wait to see what you guys come up with!




  1. Megan Schell

    Sounds familiar Sarah. I don’t think of myself as creative because I can’t draw or have cute hand writing or easily pull random colors together. But, I love making a house feel like a home, I love looking at home decor magazines and discovering what I like which helps me see and define what my ‘style’ is. Our outlets are just different than traditional ones. My creativity is put to work b/c we move around so much. I create a new home like once a year! Bless you and your creativity. Looking forward to seeing more. Love, Megan

  2. Great idea! I totally get you, and love the way this gives validity to those who see what something could be, rather than seeing something that is not…like me!

  3. leanne Hill

    Hi Sarah. Again,i find your blogs,some in particular,fun,inspiering,interesting and challenging! somtimes,you really make me think.i too was very creative when i was a child,and i guess,still am somwhere in me,and obviously it still comes out in some parts of my life,in one way or another! in the way i express myself,in my worship leading,singing,and even in the stuff i do with the guys n girls who are homless over here,but i think there is still alot to maybe be re discovered! you remind me that when i have the time i must try to do so!

    • leanne, i am so glad that you have found something here you like! i would love to hear about your journey-rediscovering your creativity-as and when you have things to share. blessings!

  4. Pingback: the thing about creativity |

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