Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A creative madness

Creativity is in my blood. My grandfather was a songwriter and my siblings are either writers or artists. My daughter is both a writer and an artist, although it seems that art is her first love. Art is her passion. And one thing about being a creative, and having a creative passion, is that we tend to go “into the zone” with our writing or drawing. Or both.

We enter what could be called a “creative madness.” This is when we get so caught up in our work that we live, breathe and sleep our writing or drawing 24/7.

I have been through such episodes. Before I married, I would spend hours, even days, writing. I would get so caught up in writing my stories and living in those fictional worlds that I’d lose track of time. I would lose track of the days. My head would go down to write at night and when I’d look up again, and it would be morning.

My daughter seems to have inherited this “creative madness” herself. I suppose I should have realized it when she’d wake up in the middle of the night inspired to create, then spend the next several hours drawing picture after picture.

Recently, however, her madness went a little beyond the hours of a day. 

She just got off of a 4-day drawing spree. This morning, she presented to me a notebook filled with drawings she’d done over the course of 4 days. A whole notebook of them! And they were really good. (She and her friend have been participating in a fan fiction jam and she decided to draw all of the characters in their story, as well as write information about them.) I should have realized she was in the midst of a creative madness because, during those 4 days, she barely ate or slept. She’d always be going back to her notebook and drawing away. And whenever I’d tap her on the shoulder to talk or tell her a friend was texting her, she’d say “I’m busy” then go straight back to her drawing.

Fortunately, it’s still summer vacation, so it’s not like she’ll end up being a zombie at school tomorrow. Even so, I will have to monitor her when these episodes spring up. What troubled me the most was how she barely ate or slept during this episode. (And I can’t help but remember my own episode of creative madness I had once at my grandmother’s house. Now I understand why she was pestering me to eat something or get some sleep. I was so caught up with my writing that food and rest were not important to me at that time.)

Of course, I am happy my little girl is so inspired to create. And of course, I will support her and encourage her. I’ll just have to keep an eye on her when something like this happens.

I tend to joke that being a “starving writer” means we’re too busy writing to eat and that’s why we starve. We forget to eat! It can definitely happen during an episode of creative madness. I’ll just make sure it doesn’t happen to my own young creative the next time she goes on a drawing – or writing – spree.

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