Dealing with creative ‘post partum’ depression 3

March 21, 2012

Maisel doesn’t beat around the bush, he understands that when artists land in a meaning crisis, they are up against the big questions.

Given my  limited understanding of the nature of the universe, how shall I organise what I believe to be true into a personal creed that provides me with a sturdy rationale for living?


On what core operating principles can I base a meaningful life?

Once these are determined, the task is to structure your life in such a way you can keep creating meaning:

Creators have trouble maintaining meaning, one way they do it is to create.

Which is why it sometimes feels like such a drama when the creative energy runs dry for a period.

 A creator’s time spent not creating can feel like a living death if he hasn’t figured out how to force his ‘other time’to mean.

It turns out that it is fiendishly hard to carry out the intention of living your life plan, creating worthy work and making   every day feel meaningful.’

The remedy is to practice extreme self support and care, confronting addictions (which are often creative’s way of dealing with massive amounts of unchanneled creative energy), and taking actions. The last one, taking even a small action I think is the most effective.

Yesterday, my funk turned right around by doing something very simple: In recent weeks, I’d moved all my oil painting stuff down to the former harpsichord painting space. This gave me more room and order when painting downstairs, was more social, and remedied the overclutter of my upstairs studio.

Well, I was miserable painting down there! When I faced that and simply moved my oil painting supplies back up to my studio where I felt more comfortable(albeit crowded), protected (the downstairs space has a huge glass window facing out onto the road), warmer, and had my music again,  I started painting right away and was happy.

12 Responses to “Dealing with creative ‘post partum’ depression 3”

  1. Hi Sarah, ah yes I know where you’re coming from here. My remedy at the moment is getting out in the garden to do something grounding and well er down to earth!!, Walking is another good one as the movement of the body helps free the mind.
    Thanks for your comment on my post by the way and your kind words. My sister says not to put too much pressure on myself by expecting a lot from the Book Fair and just go along to have a look so I’m trying to take her advice.
    I will also try and book some appointments ahead and I do expect it to be as you described but I’m a great believer in serendipity and who knows what is around the corner. If I expect a miracle I might just get one. Here’s hoping.

    • szoutewelle Says:

      Sonia, just got back from the garden when I saw your comment. yes, bless the good earth and getting one’s hands in the soil. It always does me good as well.

      Yes too, to serendipity and miracles. I know you’ll be fine. As long as you know the scene, you’ll be prepared. And you just never know what you’ll set in motion by getting out there and doing it. Looking forward to hearing how it goes.

      The good thing these days is that if you don’t find a publisher, there are endless possiblilities for publishing it yourself. And while I did get a book published last year by a good publisher in the niche market I wrote for, even though they do some publicity, most of the initiative falls to me for getting foreign editions done, or getting the book seen and sold outside the niche market.

      So I think self publishing is a good option these days since even with a good publisher, a lot of the marketing is left to the author.

      • Thanks for your reply Sarah and sharing your experience. It’s always good to hear about other people’s journeys. I’ll keep you posted.

      • P.s Congratulations by the way on getting published. It is a question of finding just that one publisher in the right niche. It can feel a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack though.

      • szoutewelle Says:

        I was lucky and the timing was right. I’d written some articles for a magazine on creativity in dementia care and they happened to also be a publisher of books on the subject. So there was already a mutually beneficial relationship in place.

        I have another book, completely different, in mind and really dread the part of getting it out there. First have to write it though!

  2. PS I thought you might find these posts as interesting as I do.

    • szoutewelle Says:

      Sonia, I love these two women’s work and collaboraitons. It made me realize I have dozens of similar textural experiments all over my studio, because they are just me playing,I’ve never considered them ‘art’, so never recorded them, It might be fun to. thanks, I’ve bookmarked their blog.

  3. creativetherapydesignstudio Says:

    This was a very relatable read for me….. Thanks for sharing.. Yes, us creative types are somewhat destined to be somewhat tortured souls with such paradoxical circumstances of desire and compensation…….

    • szoutewelle Says:

      Thanks creativetherapy…

      Well, yes it can seem that way. Personally I’ve been trying to move away from the tortured artist archetype, my art is increasinglymore a source of joy for me.

      What I like about Maisel, though, is he understands the more difficult aspects and gives good advice to navigate them.

      • creativetherapydesignstudio Says:

        I go in and out of joy and torture, myself 🙂 I’ll be staying tuned to your blog to keep me navigating in the right direction!

  4. Bob Says:

    Thanks, wonderful to come across this today, having just “finished” my (first) screenplay and now experiencing a definite after-effect that your post addresses. I particularly appreciate your Maisel quotes; they’re like rungs on a ladder.

    • szoutewelle Says:

      Congratulations on finishing your first screenplay, by the quotes I get that ‘finish’could mean many things. But congratulations anyway for getting this part of the work done.
      I like what you say about the Maisel quotes bein glike rungs on a ladder. Let’s assume those rungs are leading UP!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: