Following on in The Passions Profile Challenge, and having early this morning written the story based on one of my childhood experiences and called ‘Kevin, Wind-Talker, and The Seed-Snatcher’, today I thought I would explore and write about number 8 on my personal Passions Profile that of ‘Writing and Story Telling’.
There has for some time now been a belief that there is often some kind of link between mental illness and creativity.
As a Christian and coming from that perspective it does interest me how very often when a person suffers a loss or impairment in one way it seems that they are gifted in other ways. For example extremely autistic children often have the most affectionate and caring of hearts.
Coming at it from a slightly different perspective, and hey I may be a Christian but I would hope that I am neither fanatical or tunnel visioned by it, I am interested by the concept that actually mental illness whilst presenting many negatives could also lead to parts of out brain or minds being accessed which otherwise are not so often accessed or at least accessed in the same way.
Some literary historians have suggested that many of the classic writers could have been influenced, in one way or another, by hallucinogenic drugs. Now before all you Byronites of Tennisonians fire of angry emails at me it is ‘possible’ emphasis on the word possible that mild hallucinogenic molds (a form of mushroom I believe) growing on old books etc could have something to do with it. Of course they would need to have been in contact with it over a long period of time and it only a hypothesis.
But it does present an interesting concept does it not and certainly one which in turn does link with the idea of our accessing, under certain conditions or circumstances, a more creative or imaginative part of our minds.
For me personally story telling and writing serve several functions…
1. It allows me to keep my mind active. This is so very important to me as my memory and focus often suffer and yet I find the more I exercise my brain the better these are. (Yes I know the brain is an organ and not a muscle per se but trust me my personal experience is that the more I use it the better it works)
2. It allows me to communicate and to do so in a way that hopefully benefits others. Like the story I wrote and published earlier this morning or late last night (I don’t remember which) I try to present mental illness in different ways and in ways in which people see beyond the label or the condition, or even beyond their preconceived ideas.
Of course not all my writing is about mental health or mental illness. I love to write about my faith and to observe life in general and to comment on it. Not because I believe I have any great insights but because by communicating the perspective I do have may help others or can in turn can be challenged and I can grow and learn from it.
I love to blog, write poetry, I love writing the children’s stories and the novels I write as well as the magazine articles I occasionally write.
3. It allows me to explore and experience. As a disabled person I get tired so very easily and so can’t physically do a great deal or get out a lot. But through other people’s writing I can explore worlds, futures, pasts, the present and all different aspects of life and hopefully through my writing folk can experience those aspect I am able to share.
It may not be the same as actually experiencing it for ourselves but it is the next best thing at least I can hopefully communicate through my writing and I am so very grateful for all the feedback and comments and encouragement that I get.
So that is why writing is so important to me and why encourage others to both read and to write for themselves.