A mix of thoughts, questions and ideas; analysing what and how we troll the depths of our creative wells. What inspires me (or you dear reader, for that matter) to be drawn to pen what I pen. Of late, these thoughts have been spinning through the dark passages of my mind. Then I had an epiphany…. which has lead me to pen this article on where and how I draw from my well of inspiration.
The one thing I do know, that for me to tap my inspiration I need to be on an emotional high or low. I cannot just be bumbling along, on an even keel. I get ideas and thoughts regardless of my emotional state, but I can only act on them when my emotions are out of alignment. Hence I at times have to drag myself into a thoughtful, dark place to take the ideas in my head or notebooks, and then translate them into words on paper. The easiest way for to do this is via music, I have a few artists whose lyrics have the best effect on me, they drag me into a thoughtful emotive state to best translate my thoughts to paper. There are some songs on depressing subjects out of which I have written emotive, and even positive or romantic poems. That will keep some “shrinks”happy for hours or even the subject of an interesting article for “Psychology Today” 🙂 My wife is relieved to hear that I do not have to be physically depressed to draw my thoughts out 🙂
I do know that reading and music are very useful triggers for me to draw deep from the well; both of need to be on the dark side, for me to accurately tap my creative well. Reading the First World War Poets; notably Owen and Sasson, and some of the classical Poets; Milton, Blake, Elliot and Chaucer (although he is more humorous than dark). Musically the lyrics of Dylan and Springsteen are best or the harmonious sounds of Pink Floyd ELP and Ulver – http://www.jester-records.com/ulver/ulver.html (especially there their album: THEMES FROM WILLIAM BLAKE’S THE MARRIAGE OF HEAVEN AND HELL). These are my main sources of flitting on the edges of deep dark thoughtful emotions. My wife has an interesting take on my mindset, she feels I thrive on or need angst in my life… not entirely convinced on that front yet … 🙂 but she does have a point ….
The whole subject of creativity and depression is well documented over the years, with many interesting articles written on the great painters, composers and writers. So far be it from me to expound to much further or bore you with details of the great ones. I do want to share a few very interesting articles I found on one of my favourite websites; if you have not visited Maria’s site please pop over to: https://www.brainpickings.org/ and follow her on twitter:
Lou Andreas-Salomé, the First Woman Psychoanalyst, on Depression and Creativity in Letters to Rilke
“A great deal of poetic work has arisen from various despairs.”
Alison Bechdel on Writing, Therapy, Self-Doubt, and How the Messiness of Life Feeds the Creative Conscience
“It’s by writing… by stepping back a bit from the real thing to look at it, that we are most present.”
Probability Theory Pioneer Mark Kac on the Duality of the Creative Life, the Singular Enchantment of Mathematics, and the Two Types of Geniuses
“Creative people live in two worlds. One is the ordinary world which they share with others and in which they are not in any special way set apart from their fellow men. The other is private and it is in this world that the creative acts take place.”