The Creative Addiction: Is the Muse Friend or Foe?

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Pearl S. Buck said:

The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanely sensitive. To them… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death.

Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create — so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, their very breath is cut off…

They must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency they are not really alive unless they are creating.

My questions to you…

  • Is this true?
  • If so, is the creative process an addiction?
  • And, if it is, is that a good thing, a bad thing…or just a thing?

Share your thoughts below…

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58 responses

58 responses to “The Creative Addiction: Is the Muse Friend or Foe?”

  1. Mars Dorian says:

    It’s incredibly addictive – once you finish something grrreat and awe-some, it’s sooo hard to stop – you just want to tackle the next thing and the next. Once you are in flow, you want to stay there.

  2. Sean Cook says:

    I definitely think that creating things is addictive. It can be a good thing or a bad thing. It’s great when you have the opportunity to pursue the process, get that “fix” that comes from it, and to bask in the euphoria that comes when you sit back and say, “dude, that was awesome.” The problems come when you can’t go after the next “fix.” It’ll eat at you, weigh you down, and then comes the crash. The only way to “fix” the situation is to find a way to get another hit.

    When your life is out of balance, your routines keep you from pursuing those things that really matter to you. This lack of balance empties you out, leaves you feeling desperate. So the key, I think, is to find room in your routines for regular creation, alone time to think, and time to sit back and enjoy the process.

    When you can’t, it’s time to find your way back on the creative path, to fill your time with tasks (and breaks!) that renew your energy rather than sap it, and to surround yourself with people who will support and encourage you, accept you for who you are, and allow you to enjoy the creation because they like seeing you at your best.

    As usual, Jonathan, you present a compelling question, and I look forward to reading other responses. Reading your blog is one of the things that encourages me on a regular basis.

    Thanks!

  3. Tracy says:

    I’m not sure that addictive is the right word for it although I do know that I don’t feel truly happy and content unless I’m able to fulfill my creative urges. It feels like I’m a caged animal, frustrated and snarling or sleepy and apathetic when I’m not in a place where I can spend significant amounts of time writing and thinking.

    This has been one of the joys and challenges of parenting for me. There is nothing more amazing than watching your children grow and express themselves creatively but it also leaves me without the hours of uninterrupted time to get into that state of flow that Mars Dorian mentions above.

    It can be a very good thing, but there has to be that balance there and just like everything else, it’s a constant process of adjustment to get that optimal mix.

  4. Jarkko Laine says:

    Interesting quote and question, Jonathan…

    I do find myself constantly creating and dreaming up new things to build, yet if this quote is the definition of creativity, I don’t think my creativity is anywhere close to it.

    Maybe this quote is not really describing just his creativity but also some other parts of his personality that makes him an artist. Someone who not only creates but also sees things very clearly. Also, sometimes seeing things this way (“failure is death”) is more of recipe for not doing anything than for creating world changing things.

  5. I think we were made with an innate desire to create.

    I’m not sure it’s because of a certain higher-sensitivity level or anything. I think there’s a natural joy that comes out of making something out of nothing.

  6. Arp says:

    I hadn’t thought of it as an addiction, but upon reflection I’m most energized/engaged when I am creating. Doesn’t matter whether it’s art or business brainstorming. I definitely like the feeling.

  7. We were made in the image of a Creator God. To NOT be creative is an abnormality. ‘Nuff said.

  8. Jennifer says:

    – Is this true?

    Absolutely. One of the worst times in my life I wasn’t able to do anything creative for roughly a year. (Graduate school and full time work will do that to you!) As Tracy said, it does feel very much like being caged. I was constantly agitated, never happy, nearly got an ulcer…Thank goodness I’m not nearly as sensitive as Pearl Buck, though!

    – If so, is the creative process an addiction?

    Given the symptoms of withdrawl I had, I think so. Or maybe a better way to look at it is sort of a release valve. Things don’t keep getting bottled up inside. Or another way…a regulative and preventive activity (much like physical exercise) that keeps you on the top of your game. “Addition” makes it seem unhealthy. But then again, maybe I’m a addict looking for excuses!

    I don’t think the need to be creative is a bad thing – it is how we grow individually, as well as a culture or society. It’s necessary.

  9. Kai says:

    According to About.com symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol include: jumpiness, nervousness, anxiety, depression, rapid emotional changes, fatigue and bad dreams as well as nausea, headaches and insomnia. Being that’s what happens to me every time my creativity is stifled I’m going to go with yes – the creative process is an addiction. As for it being a good thing or bad thing I think it’s just a thing. There are worse things to be addicted to, for sure.

    I’d rather have to pay for a shopping cart of paint, paper, pens, crayons and sewing materials than a bar tab. Those things get expensive quite quickly. C;

  10. I think it’s often true, and I think it’s just a thing.

    Note to self: coffee before commenting.

  11. Jean Sarauer says:

    Totally true, but thankfully it’s an addiction that can be managed.

    If I don’t create I become some other person, and this other person is someone even I don’t want to be around. When I do create, I can shut everything else out, and this is not so fun for others in my life either 🙂

    I manage it fairly well now by a)accepting that I MUST create or suffer and b)I must carve some hours out of my day for other things or there may not be anything to return to when I come out of a creative marathon. It’s a balancing act, and I still resent having to leave my work to do other things sometimes, but I get over it.

    For me, it’s neither good or bad, but rather, “just is.”

  12. I can agree that creating is addictive. When I am not doing it, I certainly am not at my best.

    I don’t necessarily agree with the rest of the definition, however. While I need to create, I don’t feel that I am extra sensitive. If anything, perhaps less so. I can get drawn into my creations and ignore the rest of the world around me.

    Perhaps there are, as Jarkko Laine said, two definitions here: one for creativity, and a second for an artist?

  13. Debbie Ferm says:

    I wish I were more like that. I’m much more of a “consumer”. I love to read, read, read, what other people write, look at what they’ve created, etc. It results in a lot of knowledge, but no finished product.

  14. Landmarcevents says:

    According to Ms. Buck, to be truly creative you need to be “abnormally sensitive”? Creativity is a sign of healthy functioning, not psychopathology. Linking “addiction” with this universal human drive is unfortunate. Though, if you’ve got to be addicted to something, creativity beats many other options.

  15. Erica says:

    The word addiction suggests that creativity, the very act of creating, is a vice. And if that’s the case, I’m hooked.

    It’s not the finished ‘thing’. It’s the act. The process. The listening. The dancing. The bringing forth.

    “By some strange, unknown, inward urgency they are not really alive unless they are creating.” This I know as my truth.

  16. Ivan Walsh says:

    dunno… the quote reads like someone with a neurosis.

  17. Ryan says:

    Hi Jonathan,

    Creating is a great thing and I love the feeling which providing value for others elicits in my being.

    I aim to make each act of my day creative, right down to commenting on blogs. You can add value every moment you’re alive. It’s all based on a decision.

    Thanks for sharing the thought-provoking post 🙂

    Ryan

  18. Daniel Nolan says:

    I can no longer imagine a life without creating. It is an addiction and it consumes me. When I’m creating, whatever it maybe, I am completely engross. I lose track of time. My attention is so focus nothing else in the world exists or matter for the moment. It is one of the few ways I know I am living in the moment.

  19. Naomi Niles says:

    I think we are all gifted with creativity in some form or another. It may or may not be expressed in an artistic way, but that doesn’t really matter. That true creativity is only bestowed on the “sensitive” few is bunk, in my opinion.

    Aren’t all kids creative? I think so.

  20. Werner says:

    Man that Pearl Buck quote is extreme. My recent post about the creative need to write is more even keeled in comparison.

    The need to be creative is a good addiction to have. It builds, teaches, enriches and benefits lives beyond its creator.

  21. Karanime says:

    I am all of these, and yet not compelled to create.

    That’s unusual. 😛

    /<3

  22. Jonathan Fields says:

    Love all of your thoughts, as always, gang. One of the interesting things, for me, is how so many of us in the creative world lack an “off” switch.

    It’s kind of like the other side of the blessing. That same muse that possesses you to create also taunts you whenever you try to leave it behind. And, for a lot of people, me included, when the muse strikes, it can become immensely difficult to pull yourself away mid-creation and honor the other amazing people and experiences you have in your life. That, I think, is where the real danger lies.

    I’ve seen a lot of creative geniuses who’ve blown apart the relationships in their lives because they’ve either lost the ability to disconnect with the muse and be fully present in the lives of those they claim to hold dear…or never discovered it in the first place.

    Thoughts?

  23. I believe a creative person has to be sensitive. In order to create something different you have to know and be aware of what is the same. Creative people are also very intuitive. So they will pick up on patterns very quickly.

    Creativity just becomes a voice, it becomes as impulsive as talking. If you cut off all verbal communication, your other means to communicate would increase, in art, music, writing, and poetry. It can also be tough for a creative person to explain their ideas verbally.

  24. Erica says:

    Agreed. But isn’t the onus on us to communicate what makes us tick so the long creative stretches aren’t as shocking or damaging? Granted, I can see this being (nearly) impossible with little ones in the mix, but I still think we need to be accountable to both our loved ones AND our muse.

  25. Elysia says:

    I think its DEFINITELY addictive. The whole entrepreneurial spirit is built around brainstorming, making revolutionary discoveries, tapping into new markets etc. You jump from idea to idea, project to project with loads of unfinished business left in your wake.

    I think the key is learning how to balance channeling your creative energy into awesome new ideas whilst keeping your business mind engaged and finishing what you started before moving on to the “next big thing.”

    “Rework” and “Making Ideas Happen” are two books I’ve read recently which are awesome guides to finding the balance and experiencing the best of both worlds. Highly recommend them 🙂

  26. Evan says:

    No, quite untrue. There are driven and compulsive creative people – the drivenness and compulsion often has a negative effect on the quality of their work.

    This is only true if the creator wants to be creative. It is easy to pump out variations of the one style or theme (and much more marketable).

    Some creative people are crassly insensitive to others and care only about their art/craft – Gauguin is a famous example.

    If you are someone who feels compelled to create I think you can find the compulsion – in my experience if you do and deal with it, you will be happier and your art will improve in quality (whether it will sell more is another matter).

  27. Daniel Sroka says:

    Is this true? Well, it *can* be true. But the opposite can be true as well. I get tired of people who claim that artists must behave in a certain way (e.g. constantly compelled to create) in order to be an “artist”. It is a superficial understanding of the true complexity of creativity and artistic temperaments.

  28. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by John Haydon, Jonathan Fields, Jonathan Fields, remarkablogger, Grant Griffiths and others. Grant Griffiths said: Are You Addicted to Creation? http://bit.ly/bpNJMR by @jonathanfields […]

  29. Flora says:

    Oo! This is timely for me. I’ve been feeling this friend/foe tension recently so I resonate with the point you made in your comment Jonathan.

    There I am, honored by a visit from The Muse and WOW we’re loving it up grand-style, making beautiful creative love stuff, flying with the gods and oh, oh — higher —

    BAM.

    Earth. My child is excitedly tugging at my sleeve saying “Mama LOOK! Look what I did!” … and I say, weakly “oh, that’s lovely darling” as the Muse vanishes.

    You’ve made me feel really good and more centered about wrenching myself away from the Muse’s magic for my family – thanks Jonathan.

  30. Mark says:

    Being creative is not an addiction. I believe it’s hardwired into you, and it’s a choice to exploit it or not. If you choose to make it your life than it’s less a job, but who you are and doesn’t feel like work.

  31. Sandy says:

    I agree that creativity can be an addiction, but to me it is more like a sorting process. As a creative person, I receive hits of creativity streaming through my brain at any given moment. What makes me a success or a failure is the ability to focus, choosing how I want to be creative in a PRODUCTIVE way. Otherwise, I am a like a kid in a candy store, unable to choose, and I dilute the end product. As soon as the adrenaline is gone, I look for another project.

    Now, instead of having entrepreneurial Add and being a creative idea junkie, I am focusing on developing one or two directions at a time, fully, even painfully sometimes, and the end product is fuller and more satisfying. It also helps others to identify who I am and what I do, which is helpful for getting business!
    Sandy

  32. Carolyn says:

    I know, for me, this quote is true. It reminds me of this article by artist Robert Genn: http://clicks.robertgenn.com/html/sensitive-persons.html. I find that being creative is something that I do have the ability to “turn off” but if I turn it off for too many days, I start to miss it and eventually will become miserable until I satisfy my creative urge. Over the years, I have learned to schedule time on purpose for this, and I actually took a job that is easier than I can handle because I wanted a set schedule with no mandatory overtime, etc. Until I can afford to be an artist full time, it is a sacrifice that I am willing to make.

  33. Tamara says:

    My company name is Sheeraddiction ( I design jewelry) not because it is a chore but because it is my passion. I think if you can find your passion and make it your addiction life can be amazing. Being very sensitive can be a curse to some but when you focus that sensitivity you can laser in on what feels right. Really it is a gift that keeps you a bit more awake in life than others.

  34. Don Osborne says:

    On a driving trip to Northern California, I stopped at the famous Pea Soup Andersons. I found a coffee mug (not even the typical shape for one) with the word, in large, creative letters “Create” and the following caption: “The best way to predict the future…is to create it.”

    Creating for me is fulfilling. I’m not creative in the “art sense” but I find life in moving thoughts, ideas into form and substance.

    I don’t think that’s addictive. An addiction sounds like something you are compelled to do, but what you’re doing has no purpose for others to possibly take value from.

    To create is to do your part. No different than being an accoutant and enjoying it. Finding meaning in your skill or talent is not addictive.

  35. Kathy says:

    I used to think I did not have that overwhelming drive to create. And then I realize I had never gone through a period in my life when I was not creating. It became so woven into everything that I did that I didn’t even notice. Living creatively is the best.

  36. Yes, it’s true, though I disagree with the “no more than this”, but that’s quibbling.

    It’s not an addiction any more than having blue eyes or being tall would be.

    It is what it is. The things in my life that I love, and the things in my life that I hate, all seem to be related to that quote. Seems to be how I manage the tool, like everything else.

  37. TimR says:

    I’d say it’s less “addictive” than the constant left-brain thinking most people do. Always analyzing, arguing, making points, creating useless drama. Most people, when cut off from all that insanity, experience very serious withdrawals in the form of a sense of loss of identity. I’ll take (for me at least) the serenity of creativity any day.

  38. Fabulous discussion you’ve instigated here, Jonathan!

    Just to add my 2 cents worth: One the one hand, my deeply held belief is that ALL people are born creative, just as we are all born with the ability to develop rational thinking skills, the ability to walk, talk and feed ourselves. You’ll notice that all those things develop as we grow and learn. People express their creativity in so many different ways, not only ‘artistic pursuits’ but also cooking, gardening, innovative problem solving, inventing, adapting and recycling to mention a few.
    On the other hand, creating stuff and ideas definitely alters your state of consciousness, and can well be “addictive” in that sense, in the same way running (so I’m told-lol) and eating healthily can become “addictive” i.e. you feel significantly better when you do it than when you don’t, which reinforces the behavior.
    So part of it is semantics: what is addiction — we can’t live without breathing and drinking water, and mostly we can’t live without communication with other beings, but no one considers those things addictions…perhaps it is better, since the words we choose do affect us deeply, (especially if repeated again and again) if we acknowledge it as a basic human NEED, rather than an addiction.
    I think people, society and the planet we inhabit would all benefit from a widespread redefinition and reintegration of creativity into the fabric of our lives.

  39. ginabad says:

    For me, creativity can be an addiction. It’s a negative in that when I’m doing something I have to do that’s not creative, but still part of my job or part of the process to completion, I don’t enjoy it. Case in point: working on a novel. To me, editing is pure work, barely creative, but of course, it must be done.

    It can be a positive, though, in that I’m able to see things in a beautiful light. All things, even the bad stuff, I can see a way to make it art or make it meaningful. Not everyone is blessed with a gift like that.

    In fact, it’s the hypersensitivity of my nature that is harder to deal with. People around me who don’t have the same level of intensity can be impatient and frustrated, so it makes relationships challenging. Of course, the challenge, to me, is a thing of beauty as well, lol!

    Just read a report that scientists discovered that creativity mimic schizophrenia in terms of brain functionality:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/10154775.stm
    Now that’s interesting…

  40. Sarah Loewen says:

    I hope its not true. I like to think creativity is part of human nature, that its accessible to any of use when we create the space for it to happen. Twyla Tharp, renowned choreographer, wrote a book I loved called The Creative Habit…

    http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Habit-Learn-Use-Life/dp/0743235274/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275322283&sr=8-1

    She stated creativity is a habit and outlines ways to foster it – to give it space to come alive.

    Is it addictive? Absolutely – for me its when I am most alie – its like breathing….

  41. Laurie says:

    The two top things that make me feel really alive and in touch with God is creating and being in nature. You don’t want to be around me when I am being creative in nature! I’m on a real high.

    I get obsessive about being creative in that I have a difficult time putting down the tools and doing the things I should be doing to make my house function. I also have a difficult time channeling my creativity in that I love to do EVERYTHING creative. Draw, watercolor, stain glass, make jewelry, write poetry and prose. I am no musician however but my son is! If I can be more disciplined in it, allowing the time to keep the other parts of my life in check, I could enjoy my creative times more because I would be doing my thing without feeling guilty that I should be spending my time on more productive pursuits.

  42. I’m creative everyday. It’s my job, I write and illustrate children’s books.

    But being creative is not an addiction, it’s more like having a small child that needs to be defended, honored, given space, nurtured and loved. It’s a lot of work, sometimes frustrating, sometimes incredibly fulfilling.

  43. I consider the drive to create to be more of a compulsion than an addiction. I can put it into neutral for awhile, but it is always there, rumbling just under the surface of my consciousness. It is much more of a friend than a foe because once I am able to surrender to it, it escorts me through whatever truths I need to expose, and deposits me safely on the other side, better for the experience.

    An addiction would be the evil twin.

  44. Di says:

    Red wine is addictive, some drugs too (or so they tell me) but creativity, it’s a way of being. I loved this quote simply because it was like a wee lightbulb moment … ‘Oh, someone else feels life in this way too?’

    Beautiful, thanks for posting it. I signed up for your newsletter based on you posting this treasure.

  45. Wes Roberts says:

    Jonathan…

    …anything can become an addiction

    …but, for this 68yo man, to NOT create is to stop being curious, to settle for less instead of finding the more in each day, frankly to allow one’s soul to die way before it’s time

    …just this month, via some travel up in the NW part of the US of A, the radical commitment to be creative in all seven dimensions of life has been taken to a new level, a greater depth…this I will be about until this body no longer breathes

    …splendid finding your blog site! Recommending it to the developing leaders I’ve the crazy, wonderful, sacred privilege of mentoring around the globe…thank you!!!

  46. Anne Galivan says:

    What I took away from that quote was that “creative types” tend to be hyper-sensitive. Though I have never thought of myself as creative (I will explain in a minute) I have to say: guilty as charged. And though I wouldn’t change who I am, it is not always easy to be me!

    Why do I not think of myself as creative? To me creative people have always been those, like my daughter, who love doing crafts and sewing (or painting or music) and who have a “product” so to speak when they are finished.

    As for me, all I do is write all the time. Not necessarily on my laptop or on paper, but certainly in my head. And while I have always thought of people who can write great fiction as creative types, I don’t write fiction, don’t know that I ever could, so…I am not creative!

    I guess I need a paradigm shift or something – maybe I just don’t give myself enough credit. Or maybe it’s just that writing is to me as natural as breathing so I don’t think of it as being “creative!”

  47. Dale says:

    OMG…. absolutely it’s true, I mean think about it if the soul purpose of a creative mind is to create, then without creation there is zero purpose and the creative mind dies… tragically. Thanks for the enquiry, explains why I’ve been so miserable!

  48. Jonathan,

    I think your reference to the ‘off’ switch is very relevant. Most creative people live in the right side of their brain. I have met so many incredibly talented people that lack the logic and organizational skills to sustain themselves doing what they are inspired to do.

    I think in order for us to really optimize our creative energy we need to tap into the strengths of our left hemisphere as well. My producer Jon Gillies described using his MAC as being in a space that has no doors or walls. I believe this is what it feels like when you are able to harness both hemispheres. It is the ability to work in this free vast space while still being able to stay on task.

    I think it is important for creative people to have someone around them to help pull in the reigns every now and then. I Skype with a colleague at least once a week to make sure I am still on point. One of the pitfalls of the creative spirit is ‘failure to ship’ as Seth Godin reminds us of in Linchpin.

    You need a little country and a little rock & roll.

    Peace.

  49. “The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanely sensitive.”

    I’m not in love with this definition. The truly creative mind is born “abnormally?” If you’re going to frame it in this context, you had better define what is normal.

    And secondly, how is it “inhumane” to be sensitive and aware of your feelings? Should a “normal” person have less feeling than a creative person? To be human for me, is to be a sentient being, this is what separates us from other species.

    So to say that being creative is an addiction and is not apart of the “normal” human experience is the biggest load of bullsh** I’ve come across. I’m a creative person because it is who I am. I create so I can contribute to the human experience. I create so I can open up a dialogue and a forum for new ways of viewing the world. For me, this is in no way an addiction, it is a duty; and any attempt to frame this in a negative light is incredibly tragic.

    • Brad says:

      the interpretation is that of the reader, I’m excessively creative, yet this comment did nothing but make me smile. I didn’t sense a negative vibe at all. I think it’s a poignant way to describe us.

  50. Ethan says:

    It’s true. Experiencing a NEED to create rather than wanting to create is a profound feeling… even when you know that what you’re creating has a shelf life and little chance of seeing the light of day.

  51. I began to compose a reply here but as sometimes happens, it grew up and became a post unto itself. The gist: at its best creativity is not an addiction, it’s a commitment to a lifelong journey. It’s not about the ‘rush’ of creation, it’s the knowledge that it will take us somewhere new, unforeseen, amazing – and that this process will continue as long as we can give it energy.

    full post: http://fearlesscreativity.com/on-commitment-2/

  52. I believe there are just creative individuals who love to create and experience some strange and unique feelings. Each of us are creative in our own ways whether we’re using pens, brushes, pencils or crayons…our creativity depends on us. Being creative is indeed addictive.

  53. Angela Cleary says:

    I stumbled upon you website searching for the following quote “Genius does what it must, and talent does what it can.” – Edward Bulwer Lytton.

    nuff said

  54. Brian S says:

    I happened upon your website as I love Pearl S Buck’s quotes, and to give a little insight into this… I can say his quote is dead-on accurate.

    Those with the gift of being creative, it’s not just what we do like a typical accountant or businessman (and even those have their creatives), being creative IS who we are, it IS us. it’s not an addiction or a need, per-se, it’s like breathing to us, and that’s not an addiction, it’s life.

    We experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows and are able to, through our experiences, pull together that emotional experience in what we do. Life itself, is our energy source, our inspiration, our very being and we’re able to take that energy and use it to create.

    @ Jennifer Logue: it’s INHUMANLY, not Inhumanely… Jonathan misspelled it. Shame on Jonathan for that, but double-shame on you for not looking up the actual quote and verifying it’s validity before passing judgment. 😛

    Really though, one little mistake can make you completely mischaracterize something, it’s always best to verify EVERYTHING you find on the net.

    As for the “abnormal” part, it’s true, we aren’t normal. Abnormal is not BAD unless you apply that connotation to it. Someone who is healthier or survives terminal cancer is “abnormal”, is being healthy bad? No.

    It’s all in context, this is where critical thinking skills are vitally important in life.

    @ Jackie Savi-Cannon: very eloquently expressed

    Cheers!

  55. I quoted Pearl S. Buck when I posted, “Can Creativity be a Liability?”
    http://scrollwork.blogspot.com/2010/10/can-creativity-be-liability.html

    In my experience, the primal need to be creative means doing battle with the mediocre every day on the job. Unfortunately, there are many tasks that just need to get done, and many taskmasters ready with the whip. I chucked my cubicle and appointed myself my own taskmaster a year ago. Now the muse is not a distraction; she’s why I bounce out of bed in the morning!

  56. Creativity is a highly personal thing (as evidenced by the variety of comments) and would seem to be reflected uniquely by the personality embracing and expressing it, making blanket statements difficult.

    I’ve tasted some of the joys of living creatively as well as some of the pains of feeling like I was bound by responsibilities that left little room for creative breath. I’ve lived those incredibly moving moments where I sense and express something profound that connects as well as those heartbreaking ones where the “real world” doesn’t reflect the expression and can shatter it instead. And I currently feel like my creative self is more of a sleeping giant I’m almost afraid to wake!

    I think there are different states one can be in which can open up unusual sensitivity – and could be very similar to what Pearl S. Buck describes – but it’s what we do with those moments that brings creativity to life (and sets us up for addiction) within our unique frameworks and perspectives. The same sensitivity can be destructive instead of creative! If one sits in their own pool of sensitivity without giving it a creative outlet, it’s much like a body of water that goes stagnant and the life inside dwindles away … It becomes a stench instead of a thriving ecosystem.

    I guess much of it comes back to balance … Which is such a challenge! Then again, taking the picture of nature to heart, maybe balance is much more elastic. (Sorry – I’m just thinking out loud now. Maybe I should go blog!)

  57. Brad says:

    creativity is a must.

    From the minute I wake to the minute I sleep I’m creating. But the problem is, I want to create everything.

    I began singing, learning the piano, i honed my skills so i could play by ear. I figured out songs by myself and gave up piano lessons once i had acquired the skills necessary for me to keep going of my own accord, i then taught myself drums and all guitars. I began writing songs, recording and producing them, and I was once writing a few songs a day, i couldn’t sleep for the thought of neglecting creative outlets.

    I also act on TV, acting has always been a loved creative outlet of mine, but from this I began wanting to create the content i featured in, I wanted to write it, direct it, edit it. And now I do. I began wanting to design what i saw in my head and heard in my head. I began writing compositions for film, I began making motion graphics and special FX, learning 3D modelling and animation. I do photography also, snapping portraits and anything that catches my eye.

    My creativity is my needs and the above quote spoke to me more than anything i’ve ever read in my life. I often wonder why it is that once i finish a masterpiece, i don’t rest until I’ve bettered it, why, when I see someone whose an exceptional photographer, I want to also have their skills so I find it easier to translate my thoughts. It’s strange, but I always wanted to output the sounds, sights and feelings I felt, and slowly I’ve worked towards it. I have done each of my hobbies professionally at least once, photography, songwriting, editing, recording, music production, directing, acting, singing, musician, graphic design, cinematography, motion graphics, special effects, composition, and I’m 19. what the hell is wrong with me?