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Thursday, March 12, 2009



How many times have you heard the (possibly pretentious-sounding) phrase, "I create because I can't not create"? BTW, you can substitute any artist activity in there: "I write because I can't not write", "I paint because I can't not paint", etc.

So I'm walking to work this morning while listening to my MP3 player (note I said "MP3 player" not iPOD… and after shopping at Best Buy yesterday I am beginning to feel I'm one of the few people on this earth who owns a non-iPOD MP3 player). Anyway, I was thinking (which seems incongruous to what I'm about to say) about how when I walk to work and DON'T have music or something else to listen to (or otherwise occupy my mind), the walk seems to take longer and my mind tends to scatter in dozens of different directions.

That led me to thinking about how maybe listening to music (or even watching tv or reading books) sort of puts you in a meditative state. And if not "meditative", at least "focused".

And that let me to thinking about how I am when I make jewelry (or do some other type of creative project). I'm focused. Time passes quickly. I'm enjoying myself. All these things are good.

Maybe there is a really HUGE need filled by having a creative outlet. Maybe doing some THING that puts us in that state keeps us grounded, relaxed, etc. Maybe NOT doing some thing that puts us in that state makes us anxious, restless, unfocused… the way we are when we don't get enough REM sleep.

There could easily be other "things" our brain needs (like REM, food, etc.) in order to help us function at top capacity.

Maybe when someone says they have to "fill in the blank with your choice of creative activity", they are speaking the truth. They notice a difference in themselves when they DO create and when they DON'T create.

But to make this even more tangential… creativity can take many forms. If someone is really good at nurturing and/or raising children… that could be their form of creative outlet. Like cooking for some, working on cars for others.

I think there may be a primal need in each of us to do something that feeds that part of our soul/brain. So the next time you hear someone say, "I write because I can't not write"… instead of snickering at how silly that sounds, try to think about it in the terms I've just laid out. They're just being more succinct and less articulate. Would you rather they say, "I write because if I didn't I won't be fulfilling that piece of my soul that needs to listen to the muse and then create something that makes me feel I've done something even a bit worthy and I would probably start yelling at people more and picking at my scabs or pacing around the house and I'd always be impatient and I'd probably have insomnia or start smoking cigarettes or any number of other things that might not be very good for my health… yeah, that's why I write."


ArtBeads is having a 15% off sale on some of their Swarovski beads.

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