Does creativity mostly stem from darkness?

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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. 

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Photo credits – ourcolourdays & ourmoodydays

The bitter taste of disappointment.

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Sitting here on a Friday night, the mellow beats of Radiohead in the background matching my somber mood… nothing sucks more than the disappointment of a shattered hope. I put myself on the line. I dreamed a dream. And with one swift phone call, that dream was lost. A kick in the stomach, a sinking feeling of rejection. You blame yourself, and pick apart every minute of the process. What if I’d done this, or said that? Who knows. Life is one door opening after another closes, and that’s the truth. Feel the feelings, take the time to be down about it. Then get back up slowly, one step at a time. 

I’ve come to realise lately that you’ve really got to have your own back. Yes, family and friends will always be there for you, but in reality everyone is just trying to keep their own heads above water. You can shout and scream all you like and not make a dent, or you can quietly resolve to be better tomorrow. Set your own personal goals and take however long you need to get there. One thing it’s taken me years to stop doing was apologising and explaining myself. So what if I don’t feel like doing this, or going there? You do you and let me worry about me. I’m not saying a nudge in the back isn’t called for now and then – we all need some gentle encouragement in rough times. But by and large we need to pick our own selves up from the floor and persevere, for any positive changes to last the distance.

We all have those songs we listen to on repeat when we’re feeling down. I’ve lost track of how many situations this song has healed me through… his echoing, haunting voice gives me shivers every time.

Forget about your house of cards, and I’ll do mine… 

Anyway I hope you have a great weekend, doing whatever it is that makes you feel alive. Try not to let little disappointments rule your happiness. Take a moment to process your reality, and then move on. That’s all we can really do 🙂

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Photo credits – hvmansouls & lafemmesauvage_

Tale as old as time…

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Song as old as rhyme…

You know the rest. I’m writing this post in great anticipation of the re-worked wonder of Beauty and the Beast, set to hit cinemas this month. I am honestly in complete awe of Disney, having captured the hearts and imaginations of the world for many decades now. How do they stay so current yet in the same breath, transport us to a magical far off land? In the same moment they manage to deliver hard hitting (yet simply told) stories of life, while giving us a chance to escape from this reality, for a little while at least.

Growing up I couldn’t decide between The Little Mermaid or Beauty and the Beast as my favourite, but would happily watch all of the classics over and over again. From Princess Jasmine to Cinderella, each story had their own wonderfully woven life lessons, colourful characters and toe-tapping songs. They don’t make them like they used to! I hear this sentiment all the time, and it’s so true. There’s nothing quite like the sound of an old Disney movie and the opening credits with that incredible castle. Today’s children’s movies are graphically perfect, but in doing so lack that charming, crackling feel that we all came to know and love.

So while I’m greatly looking forward to this re-imagined tale of Beauty and the Beast, and will sing-a-long to all my favourite tunes, I’ll do so with a nod of respect to the original (and still wonderful) version. Thank you Disney for providing a lifetime of beautiful stories, and for making each day just a little bit sweeter 🙂

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Photo credits – ohhcouture & jesuso_ortiz