Friday, November 27, 2009

Creative block

I haven't posted a new blog entry in over a week.  It seems like it's been forever.  I feel guilty about this, which makes me think that perhaps I'm putting too much pressure on myself.  After all, isn't blogging supposed to be a hobby -- something you do for fun?  Why, then, would I feel guilty about not doing it for a week?

The truth is I've been going through a sort of "creative block."  (Writers call this "writer's block" but I don't really consider myself to be a "writer" so I'm calling it creative block).  I was a bit curious about why this happens so I decided to spend a few minutes seeing what the internet has to say on the subject.  One website,, describes creative block as "running low on the fuel that fires us to art."  That led me to wonder what exactly IS the fuel that fires us to art.  I personally believe that for many people this fuel is EMOTION.

Another website,, also talks about creativity needing fuel.  It suggests that a good mood is great fuel for creativity.  This seems to be consistent with my theory that emotion is the fuel that drives creativity.

Wikipedia, the expert on all things great and small, states that depression can cause creative block.  I found this interesting because it suggests that not only does emotion FUEL creativity it can also STAND IN THE WAY of creativity. 

Personally, I think depression is the most likely culprit for my recent lack of creativity.  There have been several times in the past week where I've thought about sitting down and composing something for my blog but then decided I just didn't feel like it.  Fortunately, my mood seems to be improving enough to get my creative juices flowing again.

There are a couple of lessons I've taken away from this experience.  1. Take a few days off if necessary and 2. Don't beat yourself up about it.  Everyone needs a break sometimes.  3. Don't be afraid to push yourself to do things you "don't feel like" doing.  If you wait until you feel like doing something you might never get it done.


  1. Great post! Thank you, Melody. I worry about blogging frequently enough. And I worry about writing stuff that is worthwhile. I spend a lot of time mulling over blog posts before sending them out there. I would rather give the gift of silence than write just to fill time and space. Your comments about creativity sure are interesting to ponder. I hope you'll write more about this. I think there's a natural ebb and flow to all of life, including our creative energy. It would be interesting to study those bloggers who "yak" every single day about anything and everything just to fill up the space. After a while it seems like "white noise". At least it does to me. I'm such an introvert, that I can't "take in" all the posts available to read. It's overwhelming. And that's another stress point— wanting to be supportive while allowing one's own creative energy to rejuvenate.

  2. Hi Melody,

    I've been writing pretty frequently as you can see. Hopefully, there's not a lot of "yaking" in the work I'm doing on my blog, but I do know that feeling of "Oh, I haven't posted much this week." Sometimes, there is a drive to put something out, even if it's not well put together. As a writer, it's tied up for me with some sort of "relevancy" story in my head - basically, if I want to be relevant in the world, I have to produce. It's definitely a story, and one that has caused a lot of suffering for me over the years. Lately, I've been watching it more in meditation, and talking about it more with dharma friends, among others.

    I also think there's a balance point - you have to push yourself sometimes to do the work - to get that creativity moving. And other times, you have to step back and let it be. I'm still working on that balancing.


  3. I learned of your blog through Dayne and have been spending copious amounts of time trying to read back on your beautiful work. I believe that downtime is certainly necessary at times, but that creativity is an aspect set on 'constant'. It is always around us, before us, within us... It is our job to channel that force into words or music, or art. Depression can certainly cause one to feel that they are 'blocked', but can also be a great motivator in channeling those emotions. Even depression can produce a beautiful painting, poem, story, etc. As long as you stay true to Your emotions, the masterpiece you create out of those emotions will be honest and beautiful. From one semi-writer to another ; ) Lovely blog and lovelier words.

  4. I like, Midnight Whisperer found your blog through Dayne. I agree that depression, sadness, whatever we wish to call it, at times, calls for a necessary downtime. At other times it so beautifully fuels creativity. Some of the most profound works in art, poetry, writing, etc have been created during an artists worst emotional times. I had what you are describing very recently. I am just now getting back the creative flow. I wasn't at all depressed but the muse was definitely resting. I was also in a rut of the same old, same old. I took time to work on creative projects around my home and this brought more substance to my writing and painting after a break.

    Give yourself the time you will be all the better for it.

    Lovely visit~

  5. I think what happens to many of us is blogging starts out as fun, but then we end up feeling a self expectation to post. Once we believe it's an expectation rather than something fun to do, our mind shuts down. Ok...that'll be $75 please LOL. Make it fun again. What I like to do is visit random blogs (yes that's how I found you) and comment. Often after commenting on a few blogs, all of a sudden I have ideas on things to put on my own blogs.

  6. Melody! Yes! Now I don't have to feel goofy trying to spell out Spldbch! Great post! Emotion. Yes, emotion is correct and emotions are COMPLICATED! Great when they're working right know the rest!


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