Creativity Under Stress

This blog post is probably not what you’re imagining. You’re probably thinking that I’m going to talk about remaining creative when you have a commission deadline or something in that vein. But actually I’m going to go on about how to remain creative when life is stressing you out and all you want to do is curl up in a ball and whimper.

How then, do you maintain a creative practice?

The answer is doing something that is close to obsessive, repetitive and requires very little thought (except when doing the heel or counting stitches). Yes, the answer for me, my friends is knitting!

Okay readers of the male gender, don’t immediately move on to the next blog – my boyfriend in college was an avid knitter, I got my friend Adam into knitting too.  No excuses. If you’re still not convinced check this guy out:

I’m into socks in particular. The only parts of the process that require focus are the heel and the toe. The ankle and foot parts are something you can do whilst chatting, listening to the radio or tv etc. If a sock sounds too advanced, make a scarf, the longest scarf ever, make scarves for friends. It’s addictive. You’ll find yourself knitting deep into the night as rapidly as your brain is scrolling through thoughts about work and errands and what to-dos and don’ts…or maybe that’s just me. While I’m under stress I cannot bring myself to paint or come up with new ideas. Knitting fills the void of creativity whilst letting some angst go. At the end of it all, you’ll have a finished product you can pawn off on some unsuspecting friend or family member. There’s also the clothing donation drop box down the street.

DO make sure to not stab yourself with those sharp needles if the angst knitting gets too aggressive. Also, keep track of those needles. I lost one in the couch a few days ago and found it again with my thigh.

If that doesn’t work then here’s another suggestion :

1 chunk of lemon ( I like to remove the peel so it doesn’t add bitterness)

1 chunk of ginger, skinned and cut into a few thin pieces

1 Tbsp honey (or to taste)

1 shot Whiskey( any kind)

Put all the good stuff in a big mug. Boil water and pour over mixture. Mash ginger with a spoon to diffuse flavour.

Enjoy and see what creative avenue that takes you down.



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