The Creative Mind (And Why It Can Be Troublesome)

Dear "normal" folks:

I'm writing this from a place that's trying to be helpful. It is, of course, woven from my perspective and experience, and so there's tons and tons of margin for error. It's just how I see things. But from  my perspective and experience, it's profoundly true that normal people don't "get" creatives. And the closer they are to creatives, the more the questions impact them. Sometimes, it's in interpersonal relationships. Sometimes it's in behavior. But somehow, someway, there's almost always issues that arise between creatives and "normal" folks. And I'm going to try to shed some light on that for you.

I have a theory that creative people spend the vast majority of their day living in delusion.

Because that's what creativity is. It's delusion. When you're being "creative," you're deluding yourself with visions of how life, things, ideas, concepts can be different. You delude yourself into thinking you should change or create them. And then you hold on to those delusions while you make the thing you make, and once it's done, you delude yourself into thinking anyone's going to care.

It's only after it's made, put into the world, recognized and accepted that the delusion changes into "creativity" because creativity is the word that society has come up with as a nice way of acknowledging this behavior.

Let's face it. We call things "creative" because "crazy" is insulting.

You might be thinking that I'm equating creativity to a mental disorder. Well, it kinda is, for certain definitions of "disorder." It's certainly not the normal state of normal minds, as defined by the majority of minds and how they operate. Remember, "crazy" is defined by the masses and majority, because crazy is the antithesis of accepted thought and how things are normally. "Normal" never changed anything in the world (much less, changed the world), because normal is normal. It likes how things are. Even Steve Jobs agrees. "Here's to the crazy ones," his famous soliloquy begins.

Creatives spend their time inventing characters, stories, scenes, technologies, theories and other things manifested from the input they receive from their surroundings. They take the stimuli they receive, both from the past and the present, and mix it with what goes on in their brain. Then, it's output in some form. Writing, drawing, painting, singing, playing music, sculpting, inventing and otherwise shaping reality to meet their delusion, as best as reality can be shaped.

This becomes an issue when normal life stuff happens. The creative mind -- which is delusional, mind you -- deludes itself with visions of how it could be, what might be happening, what should be happening, and the distance between the two things. We get wound up in that. It's hard to just live in the moment and "be" when you're a "creative" because creatives can't help when they get creative. Even if it's about stuff that isn't art. Creativity manifests itself in expression. Artsy inventive scientific stuff is a channel of output, not the creativity itself.

The thing normal people don't get is that we can't just turn that off. For us who suffered trauma, our creativity, our panics, our mania... They're coping mechanisms. They're mental armor they've never worn. They're defense mechanisms they've never had to experience.

Creativity, in all its forms, is the charcoal filter that turns impure thoughts into something digestible, because all creativity comes from a dissatisfaction of how things are. Creativity is the method we use to soften the raw feed while not diluting the message. Without it, the raw feeling; the raw thoughts... They would chew a normal mind apart. We call this being rude, or blunt, or inappropriate in most cases. It's because it's not normal. It's not acceptable by the standards of the majority. It's "off." It's delusional.

While I don't think every creative mind was abused, or abandoned, or hurt in some way, I do believe that it spawns from the place that requires a coping mechanism to function. It is a channel of thought combined with emotion that requires that charcoal filter if it's to be expressed and understood by anyone who isn't us.

I hope this helps shed a little light on things.