What defines happiness though? I appreciate its a question as old as mankind itself but I struggle with this notion that writers/creative people have to be tortured souls.
Yeah. I could spend a lifetime talking about what happiness is if I was independently wealthy and had someone to bring me food, water, and plump my pillow while I contemplated the meaning of the universe. Hopefully at some point I'd notice I was spending my time talking about happiness instead of being happy.
I agree with you. There is something contrived about the notion that creative people are tortured. It often seems like posturing and since creative people often are dramatic, it's easy to believe they can simply stop being so ridiculous. I thought that about my mother more than once.
For what it's worth, psychologists and spiritual type of people have lots of theories about why creative people 'seem' this way. One of biggest appears to be a lack of validation from those who are close to them and in a broader sense, a lack of validation in the world. What's the first thing all writers gets asked? Yet, in order to get good we have to respect what we're doing. That's hard.
I sometimes think that people play up to the stereotype. Guilty as charged by the way. I loved playing the dipso, undiscovered talent who had to suffer for his art and it took me until my mid 40's to discover what a load of old tosh that was. Along with writing almost nothing at all.
I actually don't like artistic posturing myself. It annoys the hell out of me. Just write. I don't think you need to be in an outdoor cafe in Paris and be surrounded by beauty to write. You don't need to 'expose' yourself to experiences or anything like that.
But ... I'm playing devil's advocate here partly because it sounds to me as though you're being hard on yourself. So, I encourage you to look at what happened a different way. There were reasons why you waited. Did you really
not write anything at all?
I actually LIKE writing. I get a buzz out of the entire process. That coming up with outlandish plots and interesting characters is the most fun I can have fully clothed. But I actually had to start writing, rather than pontificating about being a writer to appreciate that.
Yeah., It's pretty cool. I always like it when I'm doing it.
Please don't think I am being flippant about conditions such as depression and so on because I am not, and I wish anybody who suffers from such things nothing other than positive vibes but I do think that some people use this creative itch malarkey as an excuse for being utter twats. Along with taking themselves FAR to seriously. Reading and writing should be fun, when all is said and done. Yes there are parts of it that can be tedious and where we have to push ourselves but ultimately it has to be about us gaining something joyous rather than wallowing in self-pity.
Are there genuine tortured genius out there? Absolutely. And I pity them because it never ends well, for either themselves or anybody around them. But I refuse to accept that people have no choice in that in almost 90% of cases.
No. I didn't think you were being flippant about depression or anything like that.