Tuesday, November 23, 2010

When life is good, is it less interesting?

Remember I told you about my daughter, Courtney, and her "30 Days of Happiness" project on Facebook?  Check out Day 18:

Isn't it fun to play with your shadow? I think so, and the house made the perfect pallet. I stood there for about 15 minutes playing with my shadow and imagination. I was in my own little Courtney land and I created a story in my head and acted it out with my shadow. I feel as if I have... been in a creative slump lately as far as my music goes, but this little imaginative, mental escape gave me an idea for a new song! Wow, what 15 minutes of carefree, imaginative alone time can do! I'm going to reserve that time for myself every day! How refreshing.
Oh, how I need to do something like this!  I've been in a super creative slump lately--aside from cheeky little tidbits on Facebook, I feel it's been ages since I've said or written anything funny. Or meaningful.  Maybe it's because, like Courtney with her beautiful new baby, in recent months I've been really happy.

Which begs the question, does contentment stifle creativity? 

Sometimes I wonder.  Hell, I wrote Bastard Husband: A Love Story during the most depressed time of my life and it's definitely the most creative and well-crafted piece of work I've ever done.  When times are tough, we have to cope somehow, and our creative juices provide a soothing and productive outlet.  But when life rolls along perfectly, we just roll along and enjoy it.  There's no need to make sense of things through literary expression, or in Courtney's case, by writing a song.

When I wrote my book I was "so miserable even Jesus would cross the street if he'd seen me coming," but it's also the funniest thing I've ever written.  God knows I'm friggin' full of myself, but I still crack myself up when I read some parts.  During that same bleak time, I also started doing stand-up comedy.  That's because without things going wrong, nothing would be funny. 

So when life is good, is it less interesting?  

People often ask about my next book.  I'm still working on my How Am I Normal? anthology, but that will be a collection of essays by other writers. As far as my own work goes, part of me hopes my life will be sailing along so well I'll have nothing interesting to write about. 

No, I'll find something.


Julie D said...

Well let's see, I'm happier than ever, and can barely crank out one blog a week. And even that's not funny or entertaining!

I think when you're happy, you're just otherwise occupied!!!!!

I Hate to Weight said...

we all need tips on how to find our happiness - how to go from so depressed we can't stand ourselves to a place of peace and joy.

that's what i'm always looking for -- the process.

if sharing that is of interest to you -- i'd find you very, very interesting.

glad you're in this wonderful place

Mimi said...

I definitely think that when life is "normal" it's not interesting.
Maybe that's cos my life is never "normal"!
Keep on writing...

Bar L. said...

Its very true for me that my best writing comes when I am depressed. Lucky for me I usually don't have to wait long for that to strike :)

Yes, you will find something to write about and in the meantime enjoy this "good boring" time :)

Happy Thanksgiving, Linda Lou!

Mandy said...

Very good points Linda! I have often thought this same thing too. I started my blog when I was upset, afraid, alone, etc. And now that I'm more content and happy, I definitely don't write on it as much. When you're happy, perhaps you keep it to yourself more. And when you're unhappy and grieving, you share it more!? LOL! It should be the other way around but misery kind of likes/needs company I suppose, LOL. Any rate, I am glad that you're. And yes, your book is laugh out loud funny but aren't you relieved you're not dealing with B.H. right now?

Anonymous said...

Happiness and contentment come in large part from the mind - things are “managed” or “in order” so we’re okay (and uncreative) until we’re not. Creativity comes from somewhere other than the mind. Because we are unhappy, discontented and off-balance we are in touch with whatever allows creativity to happen. Quite a predicament.