On Stimulation...

posted 16 April 2002

It upsets me to realise that I am only really creative when I am unhappy. It's as if I can only create positive things when given negative input. This is doubly annoying in that it means I can either be creative or I can be happy but not both, and more importantly that I can be creative for only a limited time. This is because creating things, more than anything else, makes me deeply and long-lastingly happy. So the more I create, the happier I will become, and the slower I will create more. Realising this, of course, makes me very unhappy, but I doubt that mere frustration is enough to make me unhappy enough to create. So what is the solution?

I always thought that what encouraged creativity was empty time to think, because I would frequently get my best thoughts just as I went to bed, or even in the middle of the night, or on vacation in a peaceful spot. But this was not really the case; the quiet times were when I *created*, but I got the *ideas* while annoyed and uncomfortable and unhappy the rest of the day, these things stimulated me such that I could create easily as soon as I had a moment. So my most creative moments, logically, were during school and even more so during exams, since I hated my school with a passion and exams were even furtherly stressful. This was also why, when faced with what I thought would be a very creative time, a totally empty and unscheduled year off, I entered a complete dry spell. Without stimulation -- without STRESS -- I had nothing to drive creativity, no negative to work against. I require resistance, or I don't move.

So how am I to keep myself maximally creative when everything is under my control? The secret is to find something to oppose. A goal is not an opposition, it's false self-generated opposition. I need a challenge, but more than a challenge, a challenge that taunts me and tells me I can't conquer it. A job would provide the kind of stress I require (not to mention the monetary resources I enjoy when I have them), but is this really the best way? I need that source of motivation other self-motivated people have. Most of these people have deep-seated insecurity or some kind of childhood trauma as their source, or at least chemically-driven mania from hormonal imbalance. I can't get these things for myself, obviously.

Incidentally to this, this theory would explain both the motivation to suceed which I used to possess and which failed me in form four or so, as well as the huge burst of creativity I experienced during my six month period of depression. It would also help to explain the enhanced motivation and creativity of homosexuals everywhere. There is nothing inherent in homosexuality that would make us more creative, but it is the stigma and the pressure of being a homosexual in today's societies that makes us creative. Strange to think that acceptance would rob us of the one great quality that many use as an argument for it.


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