Welcome to the fifth post in ‘A Creative Life Online‘. This post is about creativity and grief and depression.
Creativity And Grief And Depression
Sometimes I speak to students who are worried about their creativity. It usually starts as a conversation about why they can’t write and when we spend a bit of time talking I learn about their heartache, their sadness and often something really traumatic that has recently happened to them.
Creativity is a great release for emotions, but only if it serves who and where you are. Many people think they need to produce work during times like this. If you can, great. If you can’t, be kind to yourself. Time and distance are the best tools.
There is no one who can tell you how to deal with your grief. It is a personal thing. You must allow yourself to feel it and experience it in your own way.
If you feel that you must do something during a difficult time you can try something like journaling. Journaling is not meant to be shared. It is just for you. If, after a suitable amount of time you feel it is shareable, that‘s great, but the goal of journaling is just to put your words to your page. It’s cathartic. Make things for yourself at this time. Not for market. Not for anyone. Not yet, anyway.
Take care of yourself and give yourself as much time as possible. There is no timeline for grief. Please get help if it all becomes too much. Don’t do this alone.
Here are a few other helpful tools that me help during hard times.
Trigger warning: depression.
Trigger warning: death of a loved one.
This is so beautiful. The painter, Alyssa Monks lost her mother and she speaks about caring for her during her illness and how she struggled to work again after her mother passed.
My heart heals in nature. Go draw. Go write. Go outside. Just go sit and stare at a tree. It doesn’t matter if it is at the beach or the bush or the park. That’s what works for me. Go where your heart heals. A gallery. A library. If that feels overwhelming at first, start by opening the window, after that go out onto the balcony, until you are ready to venture further.
@sculpttheworld is an Instagram account by Jon Foreman that offers peace in a very busy place. I love his creations. They offer calm and adventure all in one picture.
@postsecret is a community art project. You can send them your secret anonymously. Something you can’t tell anyone. Some secrets are bizarre, some are cute, some are sad, but they’re beautiful to read and there is great relief offered in a shared secret.
I hope these tools will help you during difficult times. Please take good care of yourself and be very kind to yourself. Ask for help and don’t try to do it all by yourself.
Watch this space. Look out for the next post in the series. (Sign up for our newsletter to get our Daily Writing Links, and you won’t miss out.) You will learn to find inspiration and creativity in routine.
by Mia Botha
Buy Mia’s book on how to write short stories: Write the crap out of it and other short story writing advice
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