The costs of ignoring the creative urge
Great article! It’s so true that we spend time “avoiding” the real feelings that come from not fulfilling our creative callings!
This is quite good. Thank you for your essay.
I love what you have written. Around my 28-30s, I had emotions, which I now know have been destructive. So I started reading novels about envy or jealousy, to see if I could find some answers there and understand what I was feeling. I got distracted by novels at that time, my answers were very fuzzy, time passed, I grew up, I forgot, some ideas broke, I have been building my world and now I am 34.
So I understand when you show a spectrum of those kinds of emotions and the ways in which we express them. Surely I was not envious, but frustrated that my human creative needs were not being met. Maybe now I should start writing about what I felt.
Thank you for writing this, Irina. I have sent it to my Romanian engineer (brilliant non-writing writer) brother, which, I suppose is a similar impulse (obsession with others' blocked creativity). What resonated painfully at the very beginning of your reflection was the phrase "over the years writing had become traumatic." Because this blocking can be a thing where, suddenly, you can't, or you convince yourself you no longer want/ need to paint/ make/ write (as it was for my mother at the moment she felt I'd surpassed her in skill), or it can be a slow, cumulative process (as it was for me), where an unexamined inner conflict between attachment/ expressive freedom needs grows unwieldy and thorny, and, well, traumatic. And I do now interpret feelings of envy as the small, insistent voice of a creative need I am not attending to.
I hadn’t thought about it in these terms. I think now I’m more likely to be the first type, and at least some of the time I recognize it. I used to be really judgmental - I hadn’t connected it to blocked creativity but I think it was. Now when I find myself feeling judgmental I do ask “what am I judging in myself”? I do it far less, but I still catch myself sometimes.
Brilliant. I have seen the type of people who turn their frustration towards others at work very often. I have also been that type at times, though most of my frustration has been turned towards myself. I think it important to remember what you are showing here, that we need to recognize these destructive tendencies for what they are...and perhaps have a bit more compassion for the person acting out. Not in a condescending way, but recognizing that their energies need to be redirected or absorbed, like someone practicing Aikido. The fear of one's own creativity is haunting, to be sure.
In ON THE AESTHETIC EDUCATION OF MAN, Frederick Schiller suggests that aesthetic activity, fulfilling the creative impulse is as necessary to life as food, shelter and reproduction. He makes a powerful argument. Without aesthetic interaction with the environment, we are left in a state that is less human, unfulfilled. Your thoughts about those whose creative needs have been denied put many of the results Schiller worried about into focus. I think his observations are as correct today as they were in the 18th century. And I am grateful for your restating of them.
This resonated so much with my work and with my writing coaching clients’ experiences. I’m sharing it with them, to help them put their/their loved ones’ behavior in context. And to remember to put boundaries around those folks trying to kill those creative urges!