Friday, 9 October 2015

Overthinking and Creative Genius

Some one posted a link to this article on Facebook today and when I read it, I identified with it in ways that I had not perhaps previously acknowledged.

You see, I like to see myself as a Devil-May-Care kind of girl, you know the kind with a toothbrush in their pocket and ticket to freedom. It's a myth I have invented about myself. I'm a good actor. When I shrug and say things like "What will be will be, there's no use worrying about it," I'm actually trying to silence the myriad of rushing doomsday thoughts that are playing out like some kind of post-apocalyptic film.

The same neurological frenzy that sparks off that ideas moment for a book, story, painting is the same spark that imagines a thousand possible ways it might fail, a thousand ways you might be humiliated, or a thousand ways it might be prevented.

This constant battle between the incredible imagination to create, and the imagination that it might all go terribly wrong, in the most humiliating of ways, is exhausting. And this bleeds out into every other aspect of life. No decision can be made without those neurons firing of a million disordered imaginings; some good and joyous, but most fearsome and anxious.

I overthink literally everything, from the smallest social interaction, to what to feed the family for dinner. A decision is rarely isolated without a whole web of other analysis taking place; connotations, consequences, multiple-interpretations, perspectives, empathies, second-guessing. Like in the case of dinner I think,  'I'll feed the daughter pasta - because it's her favourite - because she needs cheering up - oh, is she not happy then - what's not making her happy? - Is it me? How can I help her? Maybe I can't help her? Maybe this is transference? Maybe I'm not happy? Am I happy? ....... and so on and so on until I'm stood there five minutes later with the pasta in hand thinking, 'Damn it, Pasta is quick and easy to make. (full stop)'

And it's the curse of a narrative voice that articulates these worries, concerns and questions. But at the same time, it's the blessing of the narrative voice that allows me to conjure other worlds and create characters that  become substantial and real - just like the anxieties.

Sound familiar?

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