Rhobin’s topic for June, 2018: “How has writing rewarded you? What has it cost you?”
That’s one of my personal cliches: writing is the chocolate icing on the cake of life. When I get lost in creating, I am simultaneously channelling ideas and their expression in words from who-knows-where, and calmly calculating, assessing, reasoning.
This is very much like playing competitive chess was at an earlier stage of my life. It is also like building my house was: creating something new with my hands while learning at a furious rate. It is like the first time I established a vegetable garden, and ended up feeding my family the year around. Certain stages in the process of doing scientific research were like this, too.
All that was in the last century. This century, my creative process has focused on writing.
In the field of positive psychology, this state of full involvement is called “flow.” Its main researcher, Mihály Csikszentmihályi, wrote: “The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.”
I’ve recently finished my next book, From Depression to Contentment, and flow is one of the tools I’ll instruct my readers in. Incidentally, I am still open to beta readers who can test out the program and give me feedback.
Acting in a creative way is a necessary part of flow.
We are all creative. We have evolved that way. It is an essential aspect of life. Sadly, life belts creativity out of many people. Particularly, the regimentation of schooling can do so, and the rigid cultures of some families.
So, that’s how writing rewards me.
Negatives? They are the negatives of any addiction. When pressure of other demands gets in the way of writing, I can get grumpy and impatient. (Mind you, when I am in the grip of creative writing, I get grumpy and impatient at interruptions. Ask my dear wife.) When on occasion the ideas refuse to flow, it’s not writer’s block but a deep abyss that threatens to swallow me. My way of coping? I take out another project, and get immersed in that. Later, I return to the previous, “cold,” and usually I identify the problem, or sidestep it.
I can thoroughly recommend writing as a positive addiction to anyone.
Please leave a comment below, then visit the other authors in Rhobin’s rounds and pester them with a comment, too.
Rhobin L Courtright