Hey, no comments on the last few posts. What am I doing wrong? OK, maybe it is contest time. Whoever gives the best comment gets either a guest blog here for one day or a little 2x 2 inch hand painted water color from me, and yes, I am open to suggestions for other prizes. No prizes will be given unless there are at least 9 (my lucky number) responses, and it doesn't count if one person writes all nine responses. Well, maybe it does. Of course this could be horribly embarrasing if no one answers at all.
So the question you need to answer for this post is, do you think that creativy and insanity are connected? Is there really a thin line between the two? Serious and flip answers are allowed.
And I have huge and wonderful and amazing news, but I can't say anything until the contract is signed. (Isn't that the most glorious word on the planet, contract?) I'm dazzled with joy.
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Great question! Let me be the first to throw in my 2 cents. My feeling is the two have no connection... like George Bush and the American People. Completely unrelated to one another. I know we glorify the struggling artist myth, but struggle is more related to insanity than creativity is. And creativity, in my humble opinion, doesn't relate to either of those things. I know a lot of artists who nobilize their struggle and craziness by saying they're the source of their creativity.. .I say balderdash! you can tap your creativity and never go into struggle... and you don't have to go off your mood stabilizers or anti-psychotics either. give up the myth... it's all bulldinky. Here's the only relationship between insanity and creativity, "I'm insanely creative." That's my 2 cents.
And just so you know, my friend swears by the "creepy" keyboard condom.
Oh and if I win the watercolor, I have just the perfect tiny, empty frame
YAY for dazzling news and CONTRACTS!! I want the watercolor - I can't even keep up with my OWN blog. :-)
I confess: I'm one of those blog lurkers who drops in silently from time to time. Sorry about that - I'll pipe up more in the future. I love your blog. :)
As for creativity and insanity being linked, one of my painter friends swears it's true. But she is both insanely creative and frequently creatively insane, so I guess it does work for her. Not sure if it's true for everyone. I like to think I'm fairly stable!
Congrats on your amazing news, by the way! Can't wait to hear more!
(the unsuccessful MFA-er)
This doesn't count as one of the 9 posts, but I feel compelled to tell Lisa there is no such thing as an unsuccessful MFA-er--that if you are writing, (or painting, or doing anything creative) you are absolutely, and indeed a writer. Many brilliant writers take a while to get published (substitute painter or musician here and the analogy will still work) and many awful writers get published in a nanosecond with books on 101 tips on how to fry eggs. So in my book you are a success!
Gina, I just ditched the condom keyboard cover because it collected so much dust that when I typed, the keys would do tttttttttthis for some reason. I was ready to scream. Oh well, back to cheap keyboards I can dispose of and press on letters. Sigh and alas.
Jeff, I think the connection between creativity and insanity (perhaps the only connection) is a heightened sensitivity to the world. But to create every single day, you really have to be grounded. My opinion anyway.
And just so you all know, the watercolor is a little coffee cup with stars coming out of it. Very tiny, very nice, I hope. Oh and a fork and spoon, too.
Oh and if anyone is in NYC, I'm gong to hear Suzanne Finamore read at the 8th Street Barnes and Noble at 7:30 tonight. So come and sit with me--I'm on my own tonight.
Re this: " ... the connection between creativity and insanity (perhaps the only connection) is a heightened sensitivity to the world."
I'd only say that part of the definition of insanity is disconnection from the world, not connection. Reality testing is out the window, senses are often dulled (not heightened), etc. This is what I was saying about the popular mythology about what we think crazy artists are all about. If your crazy and artistic you are somehow more "locked into the universe." I think this is bunk, personally. Van Gough's painting was great not because he was nuts, his painting was great because he was Van Gough!
That's another 1.5 cents.
I do think that the ability to make connections that elude others is a hallmark of creativity. Also, when ungoverned, of psychosis. So this is a yes. And I believe that my writing has gotten deeper the more willing I am to accept and work with my own strangeness.
Oh right...the question...I'm so crazy, I forgot to answer it! kidding.
Okay, well as an actor and writer, who has endured theatre school I promise you that crazy=talent, is a widely held and much rewarded popular belief.
However, I have found that once theatre school is over and the hard work of busting your butt to make a living as an artist begins, not too many people in the industry like to work with "crazy" and suddenly crazy no longer equals talent, and the new equation becomes; crazy=liability.
Personally one of the greatest triumphs and necessary challenges for an artist, I believe, is learning to create,and re-create from a healthy place. Finding the "crazy" in a good way, and not a harmful, debilitating of to the nut house/rehab/hospital kind of way.
I think one way will last, and the other will eventually kill you, if not kept in check.
That's my 2.5 cents :-)
I think all these answers are wonderful and provocative. The deeper question might be where does creativity come from? Is a need to create born from some deprivation or some need to be heard? I know for myself if I don't write I feel unsettled. I crave it. But why? It's more than just that it's pleasurable, because it's not always pleasurable.
YES I do feel that creativity and insanity are related. How much, depends on the person. Creative people live so much in their own minds, always thinking and imagining and creating. Its bound to lead to a little mental upset here and there.
And artists can be such moody creatures due to heightened sensitivity, instinct, strong vibes, etc.
Of course the idea that artists=insanity is a generalization. Not every creative person is crazy, just ...most.
What's the news? I'm excited for you!
Great question. I've actually gotten to write a lot about this, and got to interview Kaye Redfield Jamison (a professor and writer with bipolar disorder) about it. (She has a book on the subjet, too.) Came away convinced of her opinion - that the slight upswing of a manic/bipolar mode is great for creativity, makes those intuitive leaps and connections seem like skipping on the sidewalk. But the inability to make connections, make sense, maintain any kind of control that characterizes real psychosis, uh uh, no way. Those make life difficult, if not impossible, let alone art.
about creativity and writing...um...all I know is that I am both crazy and a writer. Does that count as a connection, maybe?
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