Apparently having a creative mind is like having a border collie for a pet. If you don’t work it, it will cause you a tremendous amount of trouble, says Elizabeth Gilbert in Big Magic. Oh my goodness yes! We can tend to think creative people have this continuous relaxing peace of mind as they transcend the lull of everyday into an elaborate escape or dream. More accurately speaking it is more like a theme park ride, the kind you have to be a certain height for, and get strapped to a chair to prevent you falling a long way down, head first. Of course it’s “fun” when we are in the moment, zooming along with butterfly’s in our stomach, amazed at every stage we get to in our developing masterpiece.
“There is no true genius without a streak of madness” – Aristotle. We have all heard this notion, that the geniuses of the world were rather mad in some way. But in fact their is a lot of evidence to support it, not that I like saying people are mad. Creative people live on a kind of edge, a sharp one at times, they pick out things that other people do not, they come up with ideas no one else understands or sometimes agrees with. And on the most extreme side, they cannot put down and toss aside that thing that they believe in. They are bound to never stop pursuing it.
And the teachers may think they are a unique human, lectures might not like how they write, colleagues keep trying to tell them to stick to the program, or to do what has always been done. So many days they don’t sell their paintings, no one reads what they wrote, the program they created and implemented hits a new wall, they return from work like a balloon that has taken to a pointy stick. But they cannot give it up.
If a creative mind is bored, it will single handedly start destroying things. It will whinge, it will bitch, it can sink into a lonely, miserable state, it may rely on others to perk them up, create unhealthy habits that bring them moments of butterfly’s, just like the roller coaster of creativity. It is all about expression, and being understood. Who am I? And when I know who I am, what am I meant to do, and how can I express this?
I was pushing my child on a swing years ago, next to a mother of four who I’d known for awhile, and I don’t know how I got on to the topic but I said something like “I just always feel like I am meant to do something… something big or different” and she just looked at me and replied “But isn’t raising your children big”. I said no more, obviously this person was not going to understand the longing I had. Of course raising children is BIG, but its not all I’ll ever do, it is not all I ever want to do.
To you, creative and innovative thinkers, I hear you! We feel unrest so easily, we want to take off at a thousand mile an hour when the idea first pops into our head. When we don’t have a dream or idea to chase we feel lost in habit and daily rituals. Get up, do this, do that, eat, sleep. I have times like this, and it’s cause God doesn’t want to show me the next thing yet, cause it’s not time to do it, and if he forewarned me I’d go crazy trying to make it happen to early. I kind of knew what it might be, but at the time thought it very impossible and when it was time, it was ON, like full ON.
And for the last few years I have felt like the dreamer on the roller coaster with butterfly’s in my stomach… some times I have felt like I was going to fall out but I didn’t. And for now my mind is full, running a thousand mile an hour ahead, creating as I go, expressing the unique message I have in me, who I am and what I am here for.