1. Skyes
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    Skyes Member

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    I just found out why my creativity is gone (this could help you as well)

    Discussion in 'Insights & Inspiration' started by Skyes, Nov 21, 2014.

    Hello folks!
    Well, I am writing this fantasy book for years, and I used to aways daydream about it. I used to feel so inspired, I would aways write a bit every day.
    But latelly, like in a year or so, my inspiration suddenly disappeared. I sit in front of my PC, open Scrivener, and just stare at it for hours, trying to find something to write out, but nothing comes to my mind. I try to sit or lay down on my office, put some music and let my mind wander, but still nothing. I research a lot about Writer's Block, and tried many techniques, but still, nothing helped.
    It was when I talked to my psychologist, yesterday, about it.
    I am diagnosed with Pure O-OCD, and have had some panic atacks during my life. It was when I decided to search help, in the last year. I went to the psychiatrist and she gave me 2 remedies, Rivotril and Clomepramine. I am also on therapy with a psychologist, and its helping me a lot.
    So I spoke with her, and she told me that the reason my creativity is diminishing is because I am getting better from OCD and Obsessive Thoughts. Art, in any kind, is like a form of escapism. It tries to create an imaginative world in other to protect you from your own troubles, but without letting you know. Froid spoke about that many times, and he asked the artists if they were ready to stop creating arts when they were about to start therapy. So, what she suggested me, is to find another way to get inspired. I probably need to work on my technique now, since I already have most of the story written down already.
    It is comforting to know that, somehow.
    Anyway, has something similar ever hapenned to you?
    Do you guys have any hint on how I could find inspiration?
    Thanks in advance
     
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  2. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Inspiration is an individual phenomenon. So, what inspires me might not inspire you, and vice versa. Moreover, I doubt that inspiration can be applied at will, like lubricant to a squeaky wheel. What is your goal in writing? A lot of people write because it is a way to immerse themselves in a story that is not their everyday life (a form of escapism, if you will, but I hesitate to put it that way because there is an unnecessarily pejorative connotation to it). Do you write to provide a means of entertaining yourself? As a hobby?

    Or do you write because you have a passion to share stories with others? Is your goal to be published?

    If the latter, then I would suggest you take a break from trying to write and focus on reading. Read different genres. You may be surprised at what grips you as a compelling story. And you may find that the escapism of writing fantasy is now less compelling for you, and that other aspects of life are drawing greater attention. Read nonfiction, and you will find the bases for many different kinds of stories. Read quality fiction of all types, and dig deep to see what makes it tick, what aspects of the writing speaks most to you as a budding writer. In the end, you may go back to your fantasy story or you may decide to strike out in a new and different direction. Neither decision is inherently wrong - you have to follow your instincts.

    If the former, you may find that the solace you used to get from writing stemmed from the very act of escapism, and that other forms of intellectual pleasure mean more to you, now. You might also find that after a time of pursuing other interests, your love for writing comes back.

    So, my advice is to take advantage of the advances that your various therapies have allowed you, the freedom from compulsion. Allow your life to open up more - books, music, drama, sports, science, philosophy and whatever else grabs you. Grab it back and follow where it leads.
     
  3. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think we can blame, rightly so or otherwise, diminished creativity on any number of things. Writer's block follows everyone around and doesn't discriminate much based on psychological profile. Although, please excuse me when I say, you need to be a little crazy to want to write. I've read many times that writers love to have written, but the actual act of writing, of sitting down and doing the act, is often arduous. I'm on a high point right now and enjoying.
     
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  4. gwrolls
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    gwrolls Member

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    I think that sometimes people have a great way to start and a great way to finish, but have a trouble from getting from A to B without it seeming forced. At least that's the form of writer's block that I tend to get. Sometimes, I sit down to write a chapter that I've been planning to do, and then I just get bored because even I, the author, am not compelled to get engrossed. Then I go away and think of a decent way to carry the chapter to where I want it to go
     
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  5. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think this is unusual at all. You're talking about the infamous middle, the longest, windiest, most heavily saturated with meaning, part of the story. It's no picnic.
     
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  6. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, I don't think getting better hurts your creativity. I might be willing to take that as "Getting better = less critical thinking= less breakthroughs" but that by no means suggest to me that you would be sad about getting better. I think you just need more critical thinking. I wouldn't try to force it though. When I am stuck I like reading/watchin material I like. Thinkng about what they did better than me, or what they did worse. Get your mind thinking.
     
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  7. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Write in the morning, reflect in the afternoon.
     
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  8. ddavidv
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    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    It's an interesting theory but I'm not convinced.

    I wrote my first novel during a time of dissatisfaction and turmoil in my personal life. Escapism? Certainly. I wrote a character that I would gladly have fallen for in real life. This supports your doctor's theory. It was a good book and I'm editing it now to publish it soon.

    However...my second novel which is far more complex and darker (and I feel much better) than the first I wrote after that unhappy period. This does not support the theory. I'm far happier today than I was then, and I've come up with a third novel I'm eager to start on and an idea for a fourth that is completely different. If anything, my creativity has improved.

    The period in which I wrote the first book released my writing voice. I think the second book allowed me to enjoy it and fine tune my writing voice to one I look forward to working with. The urge to write may not be quite as frantic as it was during the first book but the desire is still there.
     
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  9. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    And, after all @Skyes, who are you going to believe? Your own doctor or some guy on a writers' forum who's never even met you?
     
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  10. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Hmmm... I can see some truth in what the OP's doc says but all the same, I'd take it with a pinch of salt.

    I have bi-polar disorder, suffer psychotic breaks, social anxiety, panic attacks and have a few things I'm either phobic of (answering my own front door) or OCD about.

    I've been unmedicated for ten years (aside from very occasional short term doses to alleviate the worst of the symptoms) so I have a good grip on how my writing is affected by my condition. In all honesty, I never cease to be creative, but as some members will tell you, I do have a hard time keeping focused, and unfortunately my writing bears the brunt of it. With me, it is a matter of consistency. I rapid cycle and my mood is in a constant state of flux, so one day I'll be writing something hard and gritty, the next I may as well call it a farce.

    I'm naturally a creative person. It's at the very core of who I am. I draw and paint, play classical guitar, dance, and write. (And then there's also my culinary exploits.) The latter half of my twenties was a drug-induced blur that robbed me of my ability to create. Without this natural release, I started coming apart, and what remained felt hollow inside. No amount of drugs or standard therapies were going to give me back even an iota of what I had lost.

    I think labeling creativity as the product of a troubled mind is a huge oversimplification. I do agree that creativity and the pursuit thereof can be a form of escapism (or avoidance) but that's not to say that a person's innate creativity can't be used as a tool of therapy also. I'm not even talking in cases of mental illness, but in cases of physical injury too. Art and music therapies exist for a reason... they work. Whether it be because they provide an adequate distraction, or oil the rusty mental gears, I don't think it much matters. Creativity can be boosted and diminished by obsessive thinking. I think what is important is you explore your options. If you are finding writing difficult at any given time, why not try to channel your energies elsewhere for a while? I find that as long as I keep some element of creativity flowing, in whatever form, the well spring never runs completely dry and the urge to write always comes back round again. It's a pain in the ass when I'm producing artwork after artwork, when what I really need to be doing is closing that plot hole in Chapter Thirteen, but I'm starting to realise that the real problem, is not my creativity, or my condition, but my patience. Everybody on the planet can relate to the feeling of having to do one thing, when we really feel we should be doing something else.

    I'm really happy for you that your drug treatment appears to be working. Don't ever write yourself off... there will always be those who are only too happy to do that for you. Instead find other ways to boost your creativity that make you feel good when you are not in the right head space for writing. That boost might be all you need. ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2015
  11. marshipan
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    marshipan Member

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    Vaguely similar experience in that it's about mental stuff and writing. When I'm unmedicated for my adhd I struggle intensely with conceptualizing ideas into cohesive, clear explanation in my writing. Though, it's something I've gotten much better at with time (just with writing, talking...not so much). However, this issue with conceptualizing sensations into concrete concepts is global (not just a writing issue) and effects my ability to accomplish complex goals. I find it a constant uphill battle to just understand what it is exactly I'm trying to do (and then, how to do it). Also, this issue makes it hard for me to hold on to ideas and goals because they lack solidity.

    However, I do believe that this caused my language skills to develop differently than others. Which I consider a really good thing. It made me talented at capturing less concrete things, such as tone and voice. It's my learned way to communicate.

    I prefer being medicated but circumstances aren't normal at the moment and I'll be unmedicated indefinitely. I'm getting better by learning tactics and slowly understanding the how of doing things better. At one point I began to think I might not be able to learn certain skills but now I believe it just takes me a very long time to learn certain ones and finding the right one for me.
     
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  12. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm pretty happy and mentally stable, and pretty creative. I don't see a connection between the two. (And in general, I think Freud's valuable more as a historical relic than a modern psychologist).

    I think the 'tortured artist' cliche is a bit dangerous, actually. Making people think they have to choose between creativity and mental health seems as if it might discourage some people from seeking treatment.

    That said, obviously we can't dismiss your own experience. I'd just say it should be applied in a more limited way, maybe - like, this is how it works for you, not how it works for everyone.

    And I'd wonder if it's possible the medications you're taking are affecting your creativity? Or the therapy itself - I've never done it, but I understand it can be really emotionally draining - maybe the energy you're spending on getting yourself better is making you too tired to be creative right now. But hopefully that's temporary.
     
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  13. qp83
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    qp83 Member

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    A few weeks ago I had no stories going on in my mind at all, and then I began reading a new book which I found very well written and it started in such a way that mini-explosions dicharged all over my nerual net of all the possible routes the story could take. So much so, that I had to re-read the first chapters because I was completely lost in my own versions of it. Part of me didn't want to continue reading, because I didn't want to ruin my creativity from flowing, nor solidify the actual true path of the story, but I did anyways, since I wanted to finish the book.

    So from my experience, creativity doesn't just happen, and sitting around waiting for it to come seems like a waste of time. It has to be triggered by something, or teased into existance.

    However, I have been on anti-anxiety drugs, a few years ago, and they completely levelled me out, no peaks or valleys in any of the emotions. Everything just turned very green or blue (I'd say gray, but it's such a depressing color :p)
     
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  14. ddavidv
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    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    That's a bit harsh Ed.
    Granted, the OP should defer to his educated, trained professional about his particular case but using a broader brush I don't feel that "Art, in any kind, is like a form of escapism. It tries to create an imaginative world in other to protect you from your own troubles, but without letting you know" applies to all of us. I've had a wildly active imagination since birth and daydreamed frequently not because I was inundated with troubles but because I was often bored. If creativity = troubled/disturbed individual we'd all be in a big heap o' trouble.
     
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  15. Rachelle
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    Rachelle Member

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    I'm not going to get into the OCD part, but just the pure inspiration part..

    The fact that you're sitting there staring at your screen right there is a red flag for me. You know how when you can't think of a certain word or name you forgot and no matter how much you sit there trying, you can't recall it?? Well when does it always come? Later on, when you're relaxed and not so focused on it.
    Whenever we try too hard at anything, we always seem to hit a wall... And if you think about creativity, it's all about letting go. When people talk about creative thinking, they describe it exactly like how you did: day dreaming... And day dreaming is the complete and total opposite of being focused... You are day dreaming because you STOPPED thinking and you completely let go of focus and everything else and aren't trying.

    I think you should not try so hard and avoid the staring at the screen thing (which is very uninspiring anyhow BTW).

    You need to like, drink some happy tea and go for a calming, mindless, purposeless walk. Passing people, homes, nature...etc, will prove much more inspiring than your computer screen and the state of mind will help that much more.

    Or maybe sit down and turn on some music and take out paper and colored pencils and imagine you're 8 years old again... Really get into the mindset (sit like you're 8, do whatever you can to help)... Then just totally let go and start drawing. You'll notice that when adults draw stuff, it's always simple, logical, and 1 dimensional... But a kid will draw a huge scene with a whole 30 minute story with it and as they draw it, they'll tell the story out loud and keep adding to the drawing as the story goes on, usually ending up a big mess of things drawn on top of each other bc it's a story that's in motion (not a scenery), but look at all the ideas and stuff it led to them thinking of! It's like they get in a zone and the creativity just keeps rolling out and building on itself because there's no limits.


    So try doing activities like this to open up your mind and please don't limit yourself to the computer! Life is too inspiring out side of your window to ignore~

    Good luck
     
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  16. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    I think reading a book or article on brainstorming would be a good start for people wishing to break writer's block.
     
  17. Rachelle
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    Rachelle Member

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    Yeah, I like to surf the internet... Pics and news and random stuff. So many things on it that you're bound to see something that brings up an idea~
     
  18. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    I have to say that from personal experience that anti-psychotic drugs will effect your creativity and writing. I have seen the difference in myself and with all the medicine I'm on now, I almost have no ability to write. I can brainstorm ideas but there is no will. So you have to decide which is more important to you, your mental health or writing.
     
  19. jen_writer
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    jen_writer Member

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    Maybe you just need to change things up a bit. Try writing by hand or use a writing promopt or even just take a break. I have anxiety issues and I can't write when I'm anxious at all. I'm not in a good headspace. I can't even use it to deal with my issues. I have to calm down, do yoga or something and take a break sometimes before I can get into writing again.
    I don't agree with what your psychologist as everyone likes escapism even when they have no troubles. I don't think psychologists necessarily have all the answers and you need to find what will work for you.
    Maybe you need to be inspired about your story again, think about what made you write it or do some fun creativity exercises. We can't always be inspired and eager to write
     
  20. drifter265
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    drifter265 Banned

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    Interesting. I think that if the meds killed your creativity, then I recommend you should go off them to get your creativity back or else you'll probably never get it back again. You have to trade one for the other.
     
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  21. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Right now I have chosen my sanity, so sadly I'll just have to fight to get my creativity back. It's just an individual's decision they are going to have to make on their own.
     
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  22. drifter265
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    drifter265 Banned

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    True that. A damn shame. Creativity is the window from our soul to the world. But I guess some of us need to be more locked up than others. hehe
     
  23. No-Name Slob
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    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I've just started medication (I'm two days in, so I still have a while before I see any difference) and this is something I'm scared of happening.

    I don't think everyone is alike in that they are more creative if they have a mental disorder, but I do think it is a phenomenon among a few. Several authors and painters come to mind who dealt with this issue.

    I notice a marked difference in how freely my creativity flows when I'm feeling depressed, versus when I'm on an upswing. For me, creativity is greater when my mental state is in the gutter.

    But just because you don't experience this doesn't make it untrue for someone else, and vice versa.

    OP -- I agree with @Lewdog that you should always choose your sanity and happiness, and fight to keep your creativity. What is a life lived creatively if it's not enjoyed?
     
  24. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    You do know this is dangerous advice, right?
     
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  25. drifter265
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    drifter265 Banned

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    Yes, I believe that's implied. Definitely don't go off your medication without first consulting your doctor.
     
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