Does being happy makes us less creative?

They say the biggest works of art are born from pain. They say artists are tormented souls, fighting to express their hurting feelings through art, destroying themselves in the process of creation, eaten away by addictions like alcohol, pain killers or cocaine. I’m starting to wonder whether that’s not a little bit true…

I used to write a lot when I was unhappy as a form of therapy. But I’ve been blissfully happy for almost a month now. Not having to wake up in the morning and going to work everyday, not having to do anything that I resent doing, taking last-minute week-end breaks just because I can, going for long walks, wasting time people watching and window shopping, or spending hours chatting away with friends over coffee have had a magical effect on me. When people I haven’t seen in a while see me now they notice I ooze happiness. I no longer long for a future to bring me the happiness I lack in the present, I’m simply very happy now, regardless of the particular activity I happen to be doing. I am not concerned with the passing of time and strangely enough I am also not concerned about money. Not because I don’t believe that I need money to survive, but because I know somehow the money will come from somewhere. And that’s a big deal because I’ve never been so relaxed about money matters before.

However, I also noticed that I’ve not written anything in ages. That somehow my imagination has been put on hold. That I tend to let the days pass without much writing progress. That I’m giving myself a hell of a lot of downtime and that despite the fact I’m also telling myself that it’s ok, I secretly feel a little bit guilty.

And so I wonder, is it because of my happiness? Should I get back into being miserable so I can feel crazily creative every day but with no time to write things down on paper? Of course not, I’m not that silly. My happiness if certainly not to blame for my creative hiatus. I think I simply needed to let myself be a bit numb for a while. We can’t go on forever without the risk of a neuronal short-circuit. I’m simply recharging my batteries and I am sure that at a very subconscious level, I am actually busy taking notes and forging memories, to be used in a creative work at a later stage.

I’d say we exercise our creativity the same way we exercise our muscles. We don’t always feel like going out for a run, but we start by putting our trainers on. So once I’m done with my creative hibernation, I’ll make sure to sit myself down in front of the laptop with a cup of coffee every day, even if at that very moment I don’t feel like I’ve got anything to say.

Until then, I’ll exercise being happy! It’s kind of a new feeling I’d like to enjoy a while longer.

But I’m sure that when the time is right I’ll be doing exactly what Alain De Botton said recently on Twitter: ’Work begins when the fear of doing nothing at all finally trumps the terror of doing it badly.’


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