This recent episode of Radiolab is both uncomfortable and illuminating at the same time. It's about an intern and his abrupt and very difficult transition into creative life.
Creativity is personal and therefore also reveals much about the creator's mind as well. It's unusual that we get to witness this rare and private moment and yet, this story captures that very well: https://radiolab.org/episodes/infinities.
That being said; the struggles of mental health are very serious and should not be used to justify creativity or frame it in any heroic way. I struggle to write about this; having seen the emotional turmoil of other creatives, entrepreneurs and artists... I struggle to explain this bizarre ability that we call creativity and the downsides that seem to go along with it.
Creativity is a very lonely path. The rapid conceptual connections that we make are often inexplicable, impulsive, and again very personal (this is part of the reason why I find it so valuable to reflect upon. It's a way of gaining insight into ourselves.) The connections can also be overwhelming: a flood of ideas, potentialities upon potentialities, pulling in all directions, suffocating, and intense/intensely emotional.
Those, I guess, are just some of the downsides to creativity. But the point of this post is to recommend this podcast episode... perhaps so that if other creatives recognize themselves in the story, they also might gain better insight into themselves and their mental health challenges, kicking off a search for whatever help they might need.
Resonance is, in a way, healing.
What did you think of the episode? Which parts resonated? What was your creative birth like? Leave a comment below.