Creative Energy

Sep 09 2006

When I was a kid, I had boundless creative juice. I could spend hours creating and fleshing out worlds.

That ability waned as I grew older. I’m still creative, but it doesn’t pour out nearly as much. I thought this was just part of growing up, until a few minutes ago, when I recognized a habit that I got in my teen years.

If someone frustrates me, I often argue with them inside my head. I’ll imagine conversations and how I could show them they’re wrong. I’ll spend a lot of time rehearsing different ways to respond to these people, even if any conflict I’ve had with them was long ago or minor.

I wonder if all this psychic energy spent on fantasy arguments hasn’t sapped my creative energy. If I stopped arguing with people in my head, wouldn’t that free up some energy that I could use creatively?

(Of course, actually doing this is tough.)

Comments:

Brennen I have the impression that arguing with people in your head is just part of the normal cognitive process. People tend to rehearse or relive things. The endless “man, I wish I’d thought of that searing retort six hours ago” phenomenon.
Brent You’re right, Bren; it may very well be normal. But what if it could be stopped?
Stephen I’ve argued in my head well before my teens.

I don’t think that I’m any less creative than I was as a kid. But much of my creativity is caught up in the real world. Thinking about things like: what to cook for dinner, the best route to drive to work, the best way to tackle a problem, finances, politics, etc.

But I also still create all the worlds in my head that I used to, and they are more interesting and varied I think. E.g. less of the generic bad guys here and good guys over here.

Brennen I’m not actually sure that you’d want to try stopping it. You might want to channel it differently or more constructively if it were getting obsessive, but my assumption is that the underlying mechanism is so much a part of the process of thinking that you couldn’t get rid of it anyway.
Turki Al-Marri What the….
I’m 17 and this is exactly what I always do.

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