Article by Wendy McCance
I have always been of the belief that the best art comes from the most troubled souls. Still bingeing on Fleetwood Mac music and reading up on their story confirms my thoughts on this subject. Creative people with more tortured souls equal a more brilliant artistic endeavor.
Fleetwood Mac had their biggest musical success while making Rumours. During that time, they went through their worst experiences as a group. Drug use, romantic breakups and fighting amongst the members of the band was rampant. Yet, they still were able to collaborate and make the most notable album of their career.
I’m sure there will be plenty of people out there who believe that what I am saying is nonsense. That great accomplishments can be had without experiencing pain, depression, loneliness or frustration. Even if I was to point out that Van Gogh suffered from seizures, addiction and anxiety or that Jim Morrison was lonely, frustrated and had addiction problems of his own might not sway you. The list of artists that I could mention would be incredibly long. But the list would also be filled with the most talented creative people the world has known.
I have my own frustrations. When I began my blog over a year ago, I was in a horrible place. I had deep depression and my view of the future was almost too painful to bear. But, the writing flowed and the ideas were endless.
As time passed, the depression lifted and the happiness once again took over my life. All was well and good except for the writing. It became more forced as the topics ran dry. Each entry did little to impress me. My writing became words on a page without the substance I had craved and received in my unfortunate earlier state.
These days, I actually get excited when I am worked up and out of sorts. It is still the best time for me to write. Ideas flood into my head that had not been present until the rough patch I am going through draws it out.
I don’t know why it is so difficult to write a deep, substantial piece as a happy and content person. Somehow I just can’t reach those raw emotions. I don’t see the ironic moments and I feel that I have little if any story to be told. It’s those moments when the world flips upside-down and humanity is brought into question that I can piece together those deep feelings that make me tick. I can see my experiences brightly-colored and more defined.
Maybe the idea of creative people as tortured artists is just a damaging mythology. Maybe I am trying to grasp my own reasoning for why I do my best work when I am at my worst. As always, I am constantly flooded with questions I must find a way to answer. This is just another question that is often on my mind.
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