Create Vs Copy- Book Review and Giveaway

CreateVsCopyThere is lots of bullshit on the internet.

While this statement can be true in multiple areas, today I’m thinking about success. How many people are offering a step by step promise to get 10,000 followers in 8 months? How many people are guaranteeing growing your platform after you take their course? How many people are telling you how to write that book, how to blog, how to be a writer, how to be successful?

There is lots of bullshit about success on the internet.

Most of these courses, groups, and plans that I’ve seen are nothing more than a regurgitation of the same ideas. They worked for one person, so here is how to replicate their success. Here is how to do what they did. Here is how to copy them.

Now, the validity of these courses, classes, and gurus are questionable at best. I mean you really can’t guarantee my success, growth, book deal anymore than you can change the weather forecast with your mind. They are simply (probably unintentionally) lying to you. Yet they still rehash the same damn ideas over and over and over and over and over.

Where is the creativity?


So there is a book I’m going to tell you about.

It’s a book about creativity. Before you roll your eyes and sigh, “another one?!?” let me say that this one I found very rejuvenating and refreshing. It’s by Ken Wytsma and it’s called Create vs Copy. In it, Ken lays out a theology of creativity, painting creativity as an act rooted in, stemming from, and pointing to redemption. This is new. Most books, posts, and classes about creativity talk bout it’s practice, about what to do to be a creative person. Ken starts out differently. And with good reason. He’s not set out to share the same information we’ve all heard before. He’s not set out to copy the success of others. He is being creative, fighting against the status quo that surrounds the topic of creativity.

Ken also asserts and defends that we are all creative people. This isn’t just about being an artsy person. This is all about being made in the image of God. As such, we are imbued with creativity. We think up pet names, solve problems, daydream. Basically, we are creativity in so many ways we just never notice it. Ken illuminates that for us.

The second half of the book is an implementation of the theology of creativity. It centers around using our imagination to rethink problems and solutions. Imagination leads to innovation, which is a creative move away from the copy mentality, which leads to a generosity that makes space for life to flourish.

If we are born to create, innovation isn’t just about harnessing creativity – it’s actually about restoring creativity to its rightful place at the heart of all we do.

-Ken Wytsma

The heart of this book is to help us move into our creativity as creatures made in the image of a creative God instead of copying what others are already doing and maintaining the status quo of entropy leading to death.


Back to the bullshit.

Copying someone is ignoring creativity, even if they promise the gold at the end of the rainbow. Falling into the “steps to success” rut is just going to make you blend into the woodwork with all the other people.

Let’s make something new. Let’s get it wrong and try again. Let’s dance with our imaginations. Let’s be different. Let’s not be bullshit.

I’m giving away a copy of Create vs Copy to one of the commenters on this post. Comment by Monday, April 4th to be entered to win.

  • YES. It seems like every time I turn around so-and-so who found success is writing a book about it, selling an e-course, and spamming my inbox with the same old stuff. So glad Ken Wystma is writing and sharing something different! I’m a fan of his book, Pursuing Justice, and love his heart for social justice, in general.

    • You will really like this one then. He ties in how creativity can fuel social justice. It’s really cool.

  • I’ve been working through one of those courses you mention. It’s been helpful, but only so much as it has given framework to wrap creativity around. In the end, my website is now uniquely my website even though I used some steps and practices to get there.

    It’s not just blogging, though, where we lose sight of creativity and settle for copying others. I think it’s one of the greater sins of the western church. A model gets more butts in seats for that church, so we had better ignore our unique identity and vision as a community and just mimic that other church.

    • the lessons learned can be helpful as a some rails to run on, but they are not the sum all of how to.

      And ya, this is more than just blogging. Creativity needs to be at the heart of our lives. Copy “works” but only in a pragmatic way.

  • Natalie Hart

    I love everything about the phrase “theology of creativity.” If I don’t win it here, I’ll have to buy it.

    • That phrase has captured my imagination in a good way. You’ll like what Ken has to say.

  • Pick me! Pick me! But seriously, I like that it’s not a one-step (or twelve-step program) about creativity. That’s hugely important. Looks like a great read.

    • It is a goo one. I love how inclusive he is with his steps, offering examples but not a specific way to implement it.

  • I’ve not heard of Ken Wystma but the book sounds amazing. Thanks for the introduction!

    • Look into him. He founded the Justice Conference and a few other things that are really cool.

  • Jennifer J

    Thank you for the chance to win. I was just talking to my kids about creativity being a part of our identity as humans because God is a creator. I also wanted to say that I have enjoyed your past few blog posts. I pray for you and I’m not just saying that. I appreciate your honesty. Thank you for writing.

    • Creativity really is part of who we are made to be. good on you for talking to your kids about it. Thank for reading!

  • S J Smith

    This is a great truth that seems to get buried with the “fix it quick and easy” syndrome. Goes hand in hand with my philosophy. …..Be original, make your own mistakes, not the same ones others have.

    • Ya. We really need to not fear making our own mistakes. That’s how we learn.

  • Yes!!! I see so much bullshit out there, selling certainty, making false promises, “guarantees” & “proven road maps”. It’s a lie. And it is not creative, and forgets the uniqueness of our journey. Plus, they never work the same for everyone else anyway!

    I will be honest, I love coaching people. And I have ideas about some kind of e-course/program, but I never ever will say it’s the only way, or it’s guaranteed, or it will be the same for everyone, or flatter people with big numbers. That’s forgetting our own uniqueness and doesn’t allow for our unique imagination and true creativity – and that’s what makes real change.

    • There is nothing wrong with a course/program. The problem is when they are just copying someone/rehashing what is already out there. Do something new!

  • Jenn S

    I’m still learning to get back to my creative side… Art journaling has been helping. But, I’m not “there” yet.

    • I hear you. It’s ok to still be on the journey. I think this book helps us see that it’s always a journey into creativity, not a destination we reach.

  • Robert H.

    So many of us live as if entombed in amber like some prehistoric insect. Meanwhile, in every spring, the natural order of the creating realm renews itself in young leaves, flowers, and ultimately seeds for the future. We don’t – can’t – renew ourselves in the social equivalent of amber. So many seem to think that creation, in that sense, stops with them or is somehow complete. Or can be processed. Or packaged. Or marketed. But every child is unique and a divine gift, and every child becomes an adult and no less unique or gifted or beloved. But so many gifts are neglected or even despised, and that is perhaps the saddest blasphemy of all.

    • Yes, so true. That’s one thing I love about this book: it makes creativity accessible for every and asserts that it should be at the heart of everyone’s lives.

      • Robert H.

        Among my experiences now (sorta past middle-aged husband, father of two teenage daughters) is an appreciation of being the equivalent of factory-raised livestock, discouraged from creativity and imagination at a relatively (or absolutely) young age, only to find oneself hobbled. The temptation is either to reaffirm the groupthink or to break out of the pen (since the first light of creativity is that there is no security even in the pen). What I want for my daughters is not to get in the pen in the first place; to know they are free to be new and renewed, free to be discerning and wise.

  • dsimorte

    I needed to see this post. So tired of the bullshit. I’m buying the book and if I win a copy I’ll share with someone else who is also tired of it. Or maybe someone who needs to stop buying into it.

  • Laura Beth Martin

    I like the idea of restoring creativity to its rightful place….sounds like an interesting read. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about it.

  • “Let’s get it wrong and try again. Let’s dance with our imaginations.” Yes, let’s get up over and over and over again and dance with abandon

  • chelsea smith

    Yes please! Ken Wytsma is a wise human. His talk/book about doubt has done wonders for my soul.

  • @nataliehart:disqus Congratulations! You are the winner. please email me ( and we’ll get the book to you!

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