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Creation. Friday October 28, 2016

Ever since I was a child I've been aware that creativity isn't my strong point.

I could never come up with wonderfully imaginative stories to write, all that came to mind was "I went to the park and...." and nothing!

I couldn't visualise maths calculations, so mental maths was hard.

I could copy pictures quite accurately, and was not bad at still life, but never produced any truly creative artwork.

I rarely remember my dreams and if I do, it's a pretty straight forward reflection of my life, albeit with a bit if a twist!

I often struggled to think of what to do with my kids in the holidays, the pressure and the guilt seemed to drain any pleasure and creativity out of me and I'd just not want to think about it.

It doesn't bother me. Maybe there's nothing in it, perhaps I'm simply a fairly literal person which had it's positives and I'm happy with the strengths that I do have. We can't all be Picasso! (Dare I say I'm not really a fan anyway!).

I would have thought that being an emotional person though, would enable me to express myself creatively.

Maybe there's more to it. Perhaps there's a correlation between anxiety and creativity? Or depression and creativity?

Maybe there's a block that can be released ?

I'm interested to hear any thoughts. Would you describe yourself as a creative person?

LillyPet
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.


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Comments

Leah Fri, Oct 28th 2016 @ 5:03am

Lilypet,
What a thoughtful blog. I must say great minds think alike because I was/am half way through writing a blog about the research that shows the link between mood disorders and creativity. I was also thinking about what exactly creativity is and many people interpret it any way.
I think you may be creative in some way that you don't see as creative. For one thing you write very well- you create lovely images with words. You think logically and creatively so you can express your self.
My idea is we expand our view of what creative is, and not just think of it in a narrow way.

Thanks again and it is back to the drawing board, the computer for me to think of another idea!!!

LP Fri, Oct 28th 2016 @ 7:41am

Hi Leah, Wow! What a coincidence! :) I'd still be interested to read your blog! Thanks for shedding some light on it for me. You've reminded me that I wrote a poem recenty. Maybe I'll explore and experiment more with words LPxx

Mary Wednesday Fri, Oct 28th 2016 @ 8:05am

Leah - I would love to read that too. One of the things I need to talk to the mental health team about is the effect mood stabilizers may have in my creativity. I would find it so hard to lose the words

LP Fri, Oct 28th 2016 @ 8:15am

Definitely Mary! My gut feeling is that you will never lose your wordage! It'd be interesting to hear what they say. Maybe being on a more even keel would be less stressful. I know that when I'm stressed generally I need time to wind down into "holiday mode" before I can do the things that I enjoy. Xx

Eva Fri, Oct 28th 2016 @ 7:31am

Hi LP, I think Leah is spot on, creativity is not limited to the arts, its also in your presentation of yourself, how you dress, decorate your home, put together a meal... Its endless and that's the fantastic thing about creativity. I am an artist, but I'm very literal with what I paint, I paint what I can see, and I am creative in my life, but I have trouble with visualisation, I have a hard time with imagination and fixing on images and I wonder if it's just practice needed. I wonder can creativity be taught.?

LP Fri, Oct 28th 2016 @ 8:00am

Hi Eva, I guess it is possible to be creative, without being imaginative then. Even so, I can see how limiting myself with a negative label doesn't help! I was going to say that I'm not imaginative, but again it's how I define it. I can often think outside the box, or make links between different ideas, so maybe I am in a way. You've reminded me about. Cooking! I'm an ok cook, not particularly imaginative, but I've noticed that when I'm in a good place, I seem to cook from the heart and it somehow just comes together beautifully. When I'm really struggling I can't face cooking at all. It's more than just energy or even motivation, my mood is definately linked. Thankfully I'm generally somewhere in the middle these days! Thanks Eva LPxx

LP Fri, Oct 28th 2016 @ 8:06am

Maybe it can be taught through mind mapping. Like with many things, having a " vivid imagination" seems to come to some people more easily and naturally than others. Xx

Eva Fri, Oct 28th 2016 @ 10:51pm

No problem, glad you have recognised some creative sparks :), I like mind mapping I guess I need to practice with the visuals...

Mary Wednesday Fri, Oct 28th 2016 @ 8:22am

I think Lex may have some views on your view of your own creativity. And yes - we need to expand our view on what is creative. It seems to be an observed fact that within the depressive/bipolar community there is a high percentage of creative people. I would like to know how many creative people are not touched by this illness and how many within the community would describe themselves as not being creative in the conventional way.
And yes, in answer to your question, as you may expect, I would describe myself as creative. In the past, I have had people looking at me in astonishment: "you have all that going on in your brain at the same time? Gosh, your head must be an amazing place to live in." I wouldn't know. I'm just very glad I never get bored by myself. Having to deal with other people, now *that's* boring! (And apologies - that's the nasty "high" talking. Leaving it in but asking for your understanding and forgiveness - it's not very nice, I know)

LP Fri, Oct 28th 2016 @ 8:45am

It's witty though! Xx

Orangeblossom Fri, Oct 28th 2016 @ 8:42am

I really enjoyed reading your blog and all the comments that followed. I find that expressing what is in my inner life is best way to be creative. I started writing blank verse in my mid-50s. Never knew that I had it in me. Like the metaphysical poets of the 16th Century, I targeted to a limited audience. Keep going LP. We probably write to communicate with those who we come into contact.

LP Sat, Oct 29th 2016 @ 9:27am

For sure! Xx

Sally Fri, Oct 28th 2016 @ 8:43am

LillyPet, I'd bet my bottom dollar you are creative, just hadn't the opportunity to fully exploit it. It seems to me that in your evaluation of yourself, you picked on tte stereotypical things you think make up a creative mind, not the wider picture of what being creative is, as others have commented too. After all, you created this blog. ( many other so- called creative people haven't done a blog...) I could go on, but I truly believe also that creativity goes hand in hand with mood, and so when things are tough, all creativity goes into merely coping with the here and now. My creativity ebbs and flows.
Go on, surprise yourself, and believe in yourself and your undoubted creativity. LP, all the very best to you. Sally

LP Fri, Oct 28th 2016 @ 8:48am

Ahh, thank you so much Sally! So true that it's not fixed, but ebbs and flows. Here's to more flows! :) xx

Linda Sat, Oct 29th 2016 @ 6:54am

Spot on Sally xx

LP Sat, Oct 29th 2016 @ 11:13am

Thanks Linda! Xx

Sally Sun, Oct 30th 2016 @ 6:16am

Thanks, Linda!

Jul Fri, Oct 28th 2016 @ 8:59am

Hi LP. This is a subject close to my heart, yours and the one Leah is writing her blog about. I used to edit a magazine and write much of it and could do this only on days following a good night's sleep. That was when I knew I would be pleased with my writing and I could publish it without agonising about my words. So on the rare days when I felt creative, I would work into the small hours getting the magazine written (the bits I did) and edited. I do see myself as creative but sadly since my insomnia and subsequent high days which provide such a contrast, I now lack confidence on my many more down days, to do anything creative. You say you don't mind not being creative and that's good. I suppose it's how one wants to define oneself and I have always associated my personality and ways of expressing myself as creative. (BTW I used not to care that much for Picasso but since visiting the Picasso museum in Malaga Spain, I am totally transformed in my love of his paintings. Especially his portraits which were painted before his modern take on faces. They are a delight to see and so unlike the typical Picasso most art galleries show. There is an exhibition now at the National Portrait Gallery of these wonderful paintings and as I know you live in London LP, I thought I'd mention it) Thank you LP for this blog. It connects with me 100%. Julxxxx

LP Sat, Oct 29th 2016 @ 9:34am

Hi Jul, Thank you! I'll definitely check it out with my daughter, it'd be great to see another side to what I'm familiar with. Sleep is definitely under rated. I think that alot of emotional suffering can be attributed to circumstances and events only when it could be the subsequent lack of sleep that makes one feel so bad. I really hope that you find a sollution to your insomnia so that you can get back to the real you. Xxx

Tutti Frutti Fri, Oct 28th 2016 @ 9:43am

Hi LP I really identify with what you have said. I am not stereotypically creative either and my issue is usually the imagination bit. I enjoy drawing providing I am copying something, I enjoy playing the piano and singing but have no concept of how to improvise (or even simplify the music as I go along), and I used to be able to write quite good stories provided I was able to ask my sister for the bare bones of the plot. I am pretty comfortable with this. I don't think there is an imaginative person trapped somewhere waiting to get out.
Love and hugs TF xoxo

LP Sat, Oct 29th 2016 @ 9:36am

Hi TF, Yes it's the imagination bit that seems to be missing for me too. xx

Linda Fri, Oct 28th 2016 @ 1:25pm

Hi,
I believe that when we are in a certain place our creative juices dry up, it doesn't mean they are not there, just stuck on pause.
I would call myself a very creative person but sometimes I am paralysed and have no interest, I put this down to my brain health.
At the moment I am high as a kite & trying to create but getting no results, 'too many fingers in too many pies' if you get my meaning! So I am spending money like mad on it all too, but getting nowhere.
When I am on the floor with depression I can't even bear to look at things that give me creative pleasure, I can wander in a shop & leave easily without a purchase.
My experience is that it's meeting somewhere in the middle that's the ideal solution.
Hope you get there.
L x

LP Sat, Oct 29th 2016 @ 10:33am

Hi Linda, Yes, thanks Linda. If I'm on holiday I get there after winding down. I hope you gradually start to go a little less high and not quite as deep in the low as time goes on.

Benjamin Fri, Oct 28th 2016 @ 2:11pm

I'm very creative and I'd say that creativity is overrated in the same way that logical intellect is overrated. There is a huge value to simple productivity. See several solutions to different problems, learn when to apply them, and execute them robustly in a timely, patient fashion. This will achieve most of the good effects people seek, without the trial and failure inherent in creativity. Creativity scales wonderfully; and reaps tremendous rewards. Productivity doesn't appear to scale so neatly; but it creates order and pleasure, peace and hope, in the local environment. Ultimately, it provides the benefits to which creativity points.

Deborah Fri, Oct 28th 2016 @ 9:53pm

Valuable

Deborah Fri, Oct 28th 2016 @ 9:53pm

Valuable

Deborah Fri, Oct 28th 2016 @ 9:53pm

Valuable

LP Sat, Oct 29th 2016 @ 10:37am

Hi Benjamin, That's an interesting point of view. I guess what enriches life is variety, of approaches in this case.

Frankie Fri, Oct 28th 2016 @ 3:07pm

Me too LillyPet - I never describe myself as creative!

Hello everyone and thanks for all the comments; fascinating reading!

Off now to try and write a poem for our local competition ...

Wishing peace of mind and heart to everyone as ever.

Frankie

LP Sat, Oct 29th 2016 @ 10:38am

I hope you blog your poem for us Frankie. :) xx

The Gardener Fri, Oct 28th 2016 @ 7:28pm

late - and life scary. Mary - I wrote an article in the Psychologist years ago on mood swings and creativity - iron out the mood too much and you kill everything - don't need to point to any more than Tschaikovsky, Mozart and William Blake - throw them anti-depressants and what would happen? LillyPet - only creativity keeps me afloat in the stultifying, stupifying, terrifying world which is Alzheimers disease. While I can plan decor (and carry it out with little money with imagination and fantastic artisans) new gardens, knitting (my things are could the 'Flamboyants' and writing - want to write the 800 year old history of our house as if the house was telling its own story. I do have to do routine stuff - but still torn through so I can do more interesting things. One thing I miss is entertaining - laying tables and welcoming guests one of life's highlights. LP mentions kids and school holidays - lovely memory - if we had grand-children staying on their own I would have a poor weather/fine weather list. Grand-daughter Hannah, who never missed a trick, found the list. 'Nanny, we did not do a,b,c etc'. I explained it was alternatives, not a challenge - but she still felt cheated, I think. It was you, LillyPet, was it not, saying about the dullness of your parents? Might have it wrong. Might your creative instincts have been repressed? Try graffiti on a convenient wall when nobody's looking.

LP Sat, Oct 29th 2016 @ 10:56am

Lol! Hi TG, You could well have a point! There may have been so much pressure to make use if every bit of spare time, on chores and homework, things needing to be correct rather than explored, play and even happiness considered to be unimportant, that imaginative creativity may have been stifled. Interestingly the idea of graffiti fills me with fear that it won't look good, I'm so impressed by real graffiti artists, their confident styles. Way too public, fear of breaking rules etc! I can see my mother's negatives coming out. Planning anything fun always comes down to all the reasons why not and what could go wrong. I also liked your point about many great artistic people having a history of mental illness. Am so glad that you're motivated to do those wonderfully enjoyable things in between the full on caring. Xx

Deborah Fri, Oct 28th 2016 @ 9:51pm

Love the directly above post... et al.

I took my kids on adventures which I tied in with work trips . I interviewed people all around the South Island (NZ) And made sure mind you they were very grateful and polite to all concerned else they would have become spoilt wee brats! (It was tiring but at a certain age...absolutely wonderful)

Once we decided to randomly follow a car in front of us and wound up into the back streets of Dunedin. We took tapes of old rock n roll from the library and sang. I told them vivid stories about my mental health dramas...half hoping they'd be too young to remember but also ensuring I'd put it out there. Car talk is way easier sometimes.

Yang to my yin, the dad also provided a massive experience by dragging us all south to be his "slaves" at a craft fair...every year. They learned real hard work and people skills , retailing...etc...as did I .

Aged about 17 the twins went off there and stayed in a youth hostel and did it alone. They've never forgotten these things.

Otherwise holidays I think should be holidays and they need to get bored, it's not a best parent competition, it's a discovering how to amuse themselves out of nothing, time.

I'm creative. And there in lies both my solace and the rub.

LP Sat, Oct 29th 2016 @ 11:01am

So true Deborah! I think having been a primary teacher, I felt guilt if free time wasn't planned by me! Also how I was brought up. Alot of our waking hours were literally timetabled! I've never been comfortable about why my kids never played in the garden. Just went out and played. Xx

Deborah Fri, Oct 28th 2016 @ 9:51pm

Love the directly above post... et al.

I took my kids on adventures which I tied in with work trips . I interviewed people all around the South Island (NZ) And made sure mind you they were very grateful and polite to all concerned else they would have become spoilt wee brats! (It was tiring but at a certain age...absolutely wonderful)

Once we decided to randomly follow a car in front of us and wound up into the back streets of Dunedin. We took tapes of old rock n roll from the library and sang. I told them vivid stories about my mental health dramas...half hoping they'd be too young to remember but also ensuring I'd put it out there. Car talk is way easier sometimes.

Yang to my yin, the dad also provided a massive experience by dragging us all south to be his "slaves" at a craft fair...every year. They learned real hard work and people skills , retailing...etc...as did I .

Aged about 17 the twins went off there and stayed in a youth hostel and did it alone. They've never forgotten these things.

Otherwise holidays I think should be holidays and they need to get bored, it's not a best parent competition, it's a discovering how to amuse themselves out of nothing, time.

I'm creative. And there in lies both my solace and the rub.

DAVE Fri, Oct 28th 2016 @ 9:56pm

Hi LP,

Your blog really doesn't do you justice, you put yourself down in a very negative way,
you may not be creative in all areas , but I'm sure you have talents which others admire !

Most emotions are based upon confidence, or lack thereof....

You need to take a good look at yourself in the mirror every morning, and write on the bathroom mirror "I am as good as anyone else, no better, and no one is better than I".

These are known as positive assertions, they are actually CREATIVE, they disperse the negative....OR the line of least resistance which 'Takes us Down' into depression.

If we maintain a negative attitude, then our subconscious will accept that, and throughout our life we'll continue to see ourselves as maybe we THINK others see us.

You are a lovely person, and you need to continue to tell yourself each morning....

Eventually, your subconscious will be 'TRICKED' into believing that it's true...In so doing your Spirits will lift as you consistently persist in this POSITIVE approach...

Then others will see the change taking place, because, as our minds will expand with this new excercise regime, at that point ' down the road', not only will we become more self confident, but we will attract a creative streak, which will take us down a road to a more contented, self reliant person at peace from within.

We are all equal no matter what physical or mental trials beset us, and we will all experience the good and the not so good days....If we can except that, that there has to be opposition in all things, the this Earth's Sojourn will become more enjoyable, and we'll find the time to live in Thorpe 'NOW' and stop to 'Smell the Flowers'....The beauty that this Earth reveals.....

Look up always, NO down, See the Good... And not the BAD, there's too much of that to comprehend.

Dave X

LP Sat, Oct 29th 2016 @ 11:03am

Thank you Dave. I will try that affirmation in the mirror. Xx

Nicco Sat, Oct 29th 2016 @ 2:10am

Thanks for a very thought-provoking blog, LP. I echo Linda's and Gardener's thoughts. I'm creative and sometimes it's the only thing that keeps me going, except for when I'm really floored. I, like Linda, have too many creative things going on at once and find I get overwhelmed by too many ideas with not enough time/energy to do them or learn how to do them all so I end up doing nothing until I can sort my mind out with its myriad of ideas. I find it's easier to concentrate on one thing and see it through before starting something else or I end up with lots of half created/half finished things which I find uncomfortable to live with. I have a friend who gets annoyed because she's often offered creative art therapy but says she isn't artistic and doesn't particularly like the arts herself, and I can see her point of view. You mention that you're aware you have and are happy with your strengths, but you didn't say what they are in your blog - maybe you could explore and expand these more - I think that's what being creative is - expanding on one's own strengths and maybe thinking of new ways to use them, and not so much trying to attain the heights of 'the arts' as such. I wish you many enjoyable hours of exploration!

LP Sat, Oct 29th 2016 @ 11:12am

Thanks Nicco, My strengths. Hmmm. I can express my ideas and feelings very accurately. I'm pretty good at finding solutions. I'm very determined. People generally seem to enjoy my company. I like a good chat. I can often see things from different points of view. Stick to the point, cut through to what is important. Think things through thoroughly! Xx

the room above the garage Sat, Oct 29th 2016 @ 2:17pm

Hello LP, late to reply...i never thought of myself as creative but I realise I am. The best thing I have ever been told was someone saying "ah, you're a great 'ideas' person". Creativity comes in all kinds of ways and you have it in your words love ratg x.

Linda Sat, Oct 29th 2016 @ 6:07pm

LP, RATG actually sums it up for me, we all look for 'the thing' but it very often is one that you
least expect or want it be! I guarantee others value you in ways you could never imagine,
Your post was valuable & very meaningful to us here on Moodscope !

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