Analysis Blues (or: How to be a True Creative!)

If you are following my blog you’ve probably gathered by now that I love to analyse things.

It flows though my writing in the way that I explore ideas and psychological change, and also my everyday life. I am definitely too much of a thinker, as one friend highlighted when she queried the words ‘bit of’ in my description of myself on my Facebook page.

The worse thing about all these ideas whizzing round my brain is their tendency to come to me at three in the morning. They insist on being heard and keeping me awake until I get the notepad out of my bedside cabinet and write them down. As I glance at the clock now, it reads 03:46!

Ideas are one thing, but analyzing stuff is another kettle of fish and a bit of a risky business with rather slippery results. It can be dangerous to prioritise head space above the heart or emotions, and I tend to see the analytical part of me as negative and unhealthy – the bit that makes me critical, or nit-picky, or too much of a perfectionist. My psychotherapist would challenge me on this of course, pointing out that for every negative aspect of a trait there is a counter-balancing positive if you just look for it.

This train of thought ties in with a Twitter link I followed the other day, which ended up at an article by Cody C Delistraty called: The Depressing Downside of Creative Genius. This was on an intriguing website called Human Parts which ‘explores the patchwork of the human condition through experimental and traditional personal writing’.

The article was looking, as many people have, at the link between creative genius and mental health. It cited some work done by Andreas Fink at the University of Graz in Austria that looked at the involvement of the precuneus, the area of the brain that exhibits the highest levels of activity during times of rest and which has been linked to self-consciousness and memory retrieval. In other words, the bit that indicates if we ruminate about things a lot, including our own experiences. His work found a relationship between the ability to come up with an idea and the inability to suppress the precuneus while thinking. Fink found that this inability to suppress the precuneus is seen most often in two groups of people: creatives and psychosis patients.

Apparently, this part of the brain only lights up at restful times for most people, but for writers and creative people it seems to be constantly activated resulting in difficulty in focusing on one thing and some schizophrenic and borderline bipolar tendencies. This is absolutely me to a tee and could certainly explain not only why I have struggled with a mood disorder all my life, but the pesky waking up at all hours with a stream of ideas. I definitely need an ‘off’ switch built in!

I did get rather excited, though. If nothing else, and always looking for the positives, I took it as evidence that I am a real writer after all!

MAD MOMENT…

Doing my ‘being a viewfinder’ thing on a walk with my son, who is a professional photographer. He was taking lovely arty pictures of the scenery, buildings and people, and I was holding up my hand and making my fingers into a rectangle to check out the composition options. All I can say is: Embarrassing Mums Rule!

MARVEL MOMENT…

The amazing buzz at the Jam Café birthday celebration and open mic evening.

© Anne de Gruchy

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