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Creative People – Mood Disorders and Misdiagnosis

“I’ve been accused of being ‘too much’ all my life. Too loud, too fast, too smart, too multi-talented, too audacious.

Writer, writing coach, teacher, and speaker Cynthia Morris continued,

“I’ve never been able to live according to that external standard of ‘just right’. Artists are often ‘too much’. It’s the job of the artist and writer to reflect what they see and feel.

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Emotional Intelligence To Be Creative – Part 3

What emotions and thinking may hold us back from being more creative?

The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence article "Creativity, Emotions and the Arts" quoted in Part 2 talks about students holding back from being creative out of concerns "that people might think original ideas are silly" - but this kind of retreating from creative work can apply to us at any age.

An example might be Joss Whedon - one of my favorite...
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Life circumstances

Creative People, Trauma, Addiction: Colin Farrell

"Basically, I'd been fairly drunk or high since I was 14." Colin Farrell
Why do so many creative people use and abuse drugs, often to the point of addiction?

There is of course no easy answer, but one of the factors for many people may be childhood trauma.

In his article Emotional Trauma: An Often Overlooked Root of Addiction, David Sack, writes, "A history of childhood neglect or sexual, physical or...
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Life circumstances

Cynthia Waring on Bodywork and Healing

"Writing is so difficult, that if it doesn’t heal you in the doing of it it isn’t worth the trouble."
That is a quote by massage therapist, author, artist and teacher Cynthia Waring.

In her book and one-woman play, both titled “Bodies Unbound”, she relates the story of her life and growth as a therapist and artist, her journey of self-discovery and healing from childhood trauma and abuse.

In the process, she invites the audience and reader...
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Creative Thinking

Should You Write What You Know?

It may be advice often given to writers, but is the idea to "write what you know" always understood, and valuable for creating good work?

In his post “Write what you know” – the most misunderstood piece of good advice, ever., Jason Gots comments that writer Nathan Englander "says that 'write what you know' is one of the best and most misunderstood pieces of advice, ever.

"It paralyzes aspiring authors into thinking...
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Mental Health

Psychologist Cheryl Arutt on Mental Health and Creativity

Cheryl Arutt, is a licensed clinical psychologist in Los Angeles, specializing in trauma recovery, fertility and creative artist issues.

In our recent interview, she talked about a number of topics that affect actors and other creative people.

“Bad boy” images and acting-out

Actors and actresses with “bad boy” or “troubled” images, or problems with issues of anger and acting out, have included Christian Bale, Shia Labeouf and many other talented performers.

Dr. Arutt notes this kind of behavior...
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Facing Our Demons And Creating – Part 2

[Continued from Part 1]

Creative work reflects your state of mind

Painter Gayle Stott Lowry also talks about attending a program at the Lucy Daniels Foundation:

"I attended Lucy’s class on Dreams and Creativity, and during a presentation I made to the class about my work, I began to see that changes in my painting were paralleling my personal life and giving me direct feedback about my emotional state.

"My calm landscapes became more melancholy, lighting changed...
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Facing Our Demons And Creating

One of those cliches about creative expression is to "Write what you know." Maybe it can be expanded to "Create from what you know and who you are."

Lena Dunham is the creator, executive producer, and one of the stars of the HBO series "Girls" about four young women living in New York. She bases the acclaimed show on many of her own experiences.

In a newspaper interview, she was asked, "How do you manage an...
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Life circumstances

Traumatic Childhood, Creative Adult

"Life without pain isn't real at all." Shia LaBeouf
Many people have had traumatic childhoods, and are drawn to creative expression as part of their way to deal with it, to heal and regain self esteem.

A number of talented actors have suffered traumatic experiences, including Ashley Judd, who was sexually abused; Charlize Theron, as a teen, saw her mother shoot her father in self defense; James Dean lost his mother...
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