Does creativity mostly stem from darkness?


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much I’m NOT writing anymore, and wondering why this is the case. When I first started this blog in January, I was writing around 3 – 4 blog posts a week. I simply couldn’t stop. I had so much bottled up inside of me that was flowing out – emotions, rage, guilt, regret, sadness. It was like someone had finally turned the tap on inside of me, and years of built up sewerage was spilling out so I channeled it the best way I knew how – through words. Everyone has their own way of expressing their inner thoughts. Some resort to alcohol, drugs and violence, while some turn to creative pursuits – art, dance, music, photography and writing to name a few. I’ve been wondering though, as I’ve noticed a significant decrease in my once torturous feelings of anxiety, why I don’t feel like writing as much anymore, and if anyone else can relate?

When you think about some of the famous artists and creatives of our time, there is usually a back story of hidden pain and secrets as well. Edgar Allen Poe, Vincent van Gogh, Charles Dickens and many others have been documented to have experienced mental health struggles. I can’t help but wonder if in a lot of cases, our most creative works come from a place of sadness and helplessness within? Many of the greatest musicians and song writers have referenced their ‘best sellers’ as having been recorded in some of their darkest times. There seems to be a pretty significant connection between common struggles (depression, anxiety, mood swings, relationship break downs, deaths and so on), where the person works through their feelings via creative expression.

I know for certain that when I’m feeling ‘normal’ – which in my case I would equate with getting through the day with a fairly consistent mood, and not being plagued by frequent periods of anxiety or nervousness, that I don’t particularly feel like writing. In fact I usually have to be experiencing a pretty ‘down’ day to sit down and let the words come pouring out, which is a bittersweet feeling. On the one hand I’m over the moon that my darkness seems to be lifting, but on the other hand I’m sad because I get a lot of enjoyment from writing. What am I meant to write about if I’m feeling normal, or even (dare I say it), happy? That seems like such a silly thing to worry about, I know. I think it’s stemmed from my unhealthy relationship with ‘morbid’ news stories in the media, where for some unknown reason I am drawn to read horrifying stories of murder, kidnapping and tragedies on a regular basis. Of course this is not an uncommon fascination – it has been well documented that as a society these days we are hungry for such stories, and that they both terrify and intrigue us.

I’ll wrap my musings up today with a quote from Jack Beal;

Keep painting your demons. 


Photo credits – ourcolourdays & ourmoodydays

5 thoughts on “Does creativity mostly stem from darkness?

  1. I feel the same way. I noticed it’s easier for me to sit down and write when I’m battling my demons or some darkness within me, but when I’m content and the anxiety isn’t so bad, the words feel a bit forced and it takes much longer for me to express myself. I could find a thousand descriptive words to convey my agony, my frustration, my rage, but have yet to truly capture what it means to feel happy and peaceful, it’s quite the struggle. As you stated, it’s a way for the artist to work through their emotions via creative expression.

    I actually don’t find your interest in what’s considered morbid news to be unhealthy, since these events happen more often than people care to think about. As long as it’s balanced with something positive. Glad you’re still writing. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I beg to differ. Though there are many instances where the darkness within us prompts us to create. But there are equal number of instances where happiness or inspiring stories prompt us to write. I’ve had equal instances of both dark and Happy thoughts provoking me to write. But yes, I do agree with you on the point that ‘normal’ rarely ever inspires us.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. creativity stems from whatever. not to oversimplify it, lots of opposite things can stifle it, too. sometimes people get me down and i cant make myself write. other times people piss me off and i write 10x as much.

    some of the best things are from being pissed off or sad. some of the best things are from having an absurd amount of hope. i honestly think creativity stems from a variety of things. a bit beside the point but i think youre fantastic by the way– incredibly, ridiculously beautiful, and you always make me think about another australian– whom i dearly love and would like to marry. (though she lives in the west.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Like you, I started this blog to help me sort through what was happening in my life and to share with others lessons learned. I found it to be very helpful, even though I don’t have much readership and sharing back and forth with others.

    Lately, though, I think a shift has been developing- perhaps, in part, due to my writing. I was just wondering this week if I don’t want to/need to(?) re-vamp my blog. I may leave the posts I have already written but change some other things.

    Creativity is a God-given gift I was born with. Yes, it can manifest in different, perhaps more raw, ways when in periods of emotional distress; but it certainly shows up just as well in my life in happier times, too. I can’t not be creative.

    See where your creativity can be expressed now. Maybe it will be in writing with a new focus- even something as simple as exploring what it is like to write under a totally new situation. Maybe it will just be in tracing patterns in the sand. Who knows? But look for it, or perhaps better said, let it show itself- don’t be afraid to be creative any old time you want. It’s always good for the soul.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s