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

Writing; A cathartic release for my soul.

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Sometimes before actually looking at my blog I get asked by people what I write about or what inspires me, and I have to take a second to think about my answer because in all honesty – I don’t have a general theme or angle. I suppose if I had to blanket my articles under a category, it would be ‘life’ – but this is pretty broad and leads to the question ‘What is life?’… For me, blogging is about being able to channel all my thoughts and feelings into a neat, well flowing story. It’s not about impressing or attracting readers, or making money. It’s about a girl, letting the words flow from her mind and seeing what the finished product looks like.

My blogs are actually a work in progress, like a continuing cycle or a very large puzzle. Whenever I have a spare few minutes I browse through images online, looking for special moments that really capture something significant. I only choose images that have moved me, or reminded me of a memory / time / place… images that inspire me to write about things that have happened in my life, or a general topic and my views. Sometimes I might bookmark an image and not return to it for a few weeks, until I’m reminded of why I chose that particular story line or am feeling the same way again. Other times, I’ll find an image and simply can’t wait to write my story – the words literally come rushing out and I need to catch my breath at the end. It’s always an interesting process watching my story unfold – I never know what I’ll be discussing at the end until the time comes which is what I enjoy. It’s organic, authentic and from the heart.

I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing from a young age. I suppose being an only child until I was 10 had something to do with it – I needed to find something to fill the time, so I turned to journalling and reading fantasy books. I’d get lost in the world of The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter over and over again, escaping into a land full of magic, secrecy and intrigue. I loved English at school and went on to complete a degree in Journalism majoring in Communications, but I must admit during my university years I lost a lot of my passions. Since starting this blog 4 months ago I’ve felt a real sense of contentment and pride, as though something has finally fallen into place. Put simply, I think I’m meant to write.

I encourage everyone to keep following their curiosity in life, until they find something they can own, enjoy and be proud of. I may only get a few people reading this post, but if I can inspire one person or make them reflect on what it is that feeds their passions, I will be happy.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” (Maya Angelou). 

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Photo credits – twbloves & hubs_united