Monday, May 31, 2010

Using the dark side

Just saw on twitter from "iamdjwilliams" (Not someone I was retweeted)

"If it breaks your heart....write a song about it"

Made me pause. I have written some songs (lyrics, that is. I don't write music)...but not out of my pain. I have scrawled some slightly emo poetry out of my pain, but it shall not see the light of public day. I would like to at least pretend to have some dignity. But other than a few tear-blurred lines of ink on this or that...I realize I don't tend to pour my angst into creativity. I'm at my most productive when I'm happy. And being productive makes me happy..which makes me more productive...which makes me... When I really get going it has a turbo-charged effect that leaves me feeling like I stuck my finger in a socket. It's thrilling, and just a little scary. If you're a fan of mine on facebook, or follow my shop at all, this will explain why you'll see mass postings of work. I go in artistic sprints of insane proportion!

But pain... emotional pain absolutely paralyzes me. I shut down. I stare at walls. I've gone through phases over the last year where I was too emotionally turbulent to make anything but a mess. In more ways than one. My solution was, not unwisely, to try and learn to stay away from things that "stole my mojo". People who hurt me or confused me in painful ways were people I needed to avoid. And I'm not saying that's wrong. But that little quote makes me wonder if I need to work harder to use the darker emotions in my work. After all, pain is part of life. It's guaranteed. So it would be foolish of me to allow emotional pain, anxiety, or confusion to keep me from creating. If that means I must grow stronger...then I must grow stronger. But perhaps my work will grow stronger as well.


  1. Very interesting perspective. Like you - I create out of happiness, and I try to bask in the light rather than dwell in the dark. Even though pain is a part of life and many people do use it creatively, if that's not your normal creative place, I would fear that tapping into that darkness might feed the angst and keep you in a dark place. If happy feeds happy, then it only makes sense that angst would feed angst. Then again, I guess creating through that darkness might bring you out of it, into your happy productive place. Please keep us posted on what happens if you try it.

  2. Good point. I definitely don't wanna feed my dark side. I've always struggled with depression anyway. But what I hate is how I lose productive time when I'm distressed...

    On the other hand, those times seem to serve as a winter of the soul - where though the surface seems barren, there's growth underneath and I spring out fruitful later. :D

    So perhaps I don't need to pressure myself to try and create when I'm in pain. I dunno. Something to ponder, anyway!