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Author Topic: Intrusive Thoughts and the Creative Process  (Read 293 times)

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Offline MakingMirrors

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Intrusive Thoughts and the Creative Process
« on: January 28, 2014, 12:49:03 PM »
Hello everyone,

The subject of intrusive thoughts and the creative process is something I've tried to gain an understanding for for quite some time now; researching the topic via the internet and discussing it with my peers. However, I've found difficulty at reaching a perspective that has reconciled my own distortions about it, and how it effects my life. So, I thought perhaps asking here would at least be step in the right direction at gaining another view on it.

A year ago, after relentless introspection and a cataclysmic epiphany, I decided to drop out of my final year-and-a-half of University to follow my passion; making music. Music has always been something that has brightened up my life, and I have been involved in the production of it is since I was a teenager. I have come to realize that it is something I want to spend my life doing and sharing with the people around me. Sadly, my mind has made following my passion incredibly difficult; sabotaging my efforts by plaguing my creative process with streams of intrusive thoughts and unwanted ideations.

For me, the problem isn't inherently the intrusive thoughts themselves, but the thoughts entangling with my creativity and becoming something much more substantial than just thoughts; physical manifestations. When I sit down to make a track, the fear of an intrusive thought entering my mind and becoming a part of my track distresses me, because I feel like I'm almost immortalizing the thought in my creations. The thought becomes something of it's own and I feel like I can't continue making my track, because it's become contaminated by a part of me that I don't want to acknowledge, accept or have difficulty reconciling. I could make something that excites me and motivates me, and all of a sudden I'll think "Oh MakingMirrors, remember that time when you did _____, and how shameful and guilty that makes you feel?", and that will be enough to discourage me from working further, because sharing something that emanates from me that I can't accept with others is incredibly distressing to me.

This issue seems pretty specific, but regardless, I'd love to hear from anybody about their thoughts and opinions on the matter.

Thank you so much for reading; it means a lot to me.

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Offline Leo99

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Re: Intrusive Thoughts and the Creative Process
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2014, 02:28:52 PM »
Interesting topic.
For me, one of the hardest things in life was to face my inner shadows and accept them. However, it was also one of the greatest things because I kind of came to terms with who I truly am. And we need to love the true ourselves. Nobody's all good. I do put this into my art (I write fiction for one) now. And it is way better than it was before.
I had thoughts of people thinking  I must be crazy, when reading my stuff. But another thing I learned is to distance myself from my art. It does not take serial killer to write about serial killers. That's the beauty of it. It's fiction, make believe, a new creation and we get to be creators of it. Ain't that amazing? And at the same time it's the vent, a kind of therapy...

Not sure if my post helps your struggles but I thought I'd share nevertheless. Keep creating! Creative process is priceless.  :action-smiley-065:
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From childhood's hour I have not been
As others were; I have not seen
As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
(E. A. Poe)

Offline MakingMirrors

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Re: Intrusive Thoughts and the Creative Process
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2014, 02:37:52 PM »
Hi Leo,

Thanks for your reply! :action-smiley-065:

I agree with you that accepting yourself in all of your totality is incredibly important - as hard as that can be.

I am interested though in the differences in your methodology when you write; specifically when you mention that in one hand, your approach to self-acceptance has improved your work (If I read that correctly), and in the other hand, you've found that you've needed to learn to distance yourself from your art. Do these differences in writing arise purely based on whether the subject(s) you're writing about have any personal / direct relevance to you or not? If this isn't the case, why do you sometimes feel like you need to take a step back from your own work?

I'm also interested in how you feel towards your work that you've vented into; work that has been vested with personal thoughts and feelings, with the prospect of them being read and absorbed by others.

Your post has definitely helped. Thank you  :happy0151:
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Offline Leo99

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Re: Intrusive Thoughts and the Creative Process
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2014, 09:30:37 AM »
Hi, MakingMirrors , thanks for responding!  :action-smiley-065:

I guess it's kind of hard to explain... At first, all my writing seemed too personal to me. Like every thought the character had, every action they made... was mine in a way. And I was worrying about the things like people kissing or someone telling a secret in the story or whatever...
I learned with time, that came from my personal life experience which also includes depression and anxiety quite some, that everything is universal human experience, basically. If you don't put emotion into your work, how will the reader feel emotion? If you hide your flaws, how will be the reader able to acknowledge theirs? And same for the virtues.
So my personal emotion in my art will later become another persons personal emotion. They don't care about mine. They just want to feel the work in their own way. Which keeps me protected in a way. And exposes them. So I can be honest and distance myself at the same time, you know?

Making mirrors. Such a good nick. I think art is all about that, actually. Making mirrors. And clear mirrors will enable one to see  more of them.
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From childhood's hour I have not been
As others were; I have not seen
As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
(E. A. Poe)

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