Community solutions

For some time now, I’ve been exploring the idea that many of the problems our societies construct as individual issues, aren’t. I’ve mostly been looking at this in terms of mental health, but suspect it applies more widely. The emphasis on the problem as being the individual’s problem, and the solution being individual too, seems highly suspect to me. Depression, anxiety and other stress-induced problems happen in a context, and if we don’t change the context how can there be a real solution?

Up until this week, I’d thought of my problems with inspiration as being a personal problem, necessitating personal solutions, or otherwise unfixable. Opening up about the problem has brought me a lot of conversations – here, on facebook and by email. Thank you everyone who did that. Apparently it’s not just me. Rather than seeing a personal problem, I’m now seeing a much bigger problem(s) impacting on creative people. The answer, then, is to find solutions that aren’t just for me. Maybe what we have here is the sort of thing that can only be dealt with collectively.

My plan at the moment is to spend time over the next few days really facing up to this, to my own feelings of guilt, shame, grief and loss, and to look at what paralyses me. I’ve not done this before, because these are painful things to look in the face, but, I think it’s necessary to walk into it.

So, this is an open invitation to contribute. If you have experiences either of being able to maintain your creativity, or of struggling with it, and you’re willing to share what’s happening, then please do. If you don’t want to do that in public, just comment that you’d like an email and I’ll get in touch – wordpress helpfully shows me your email address when you comment. Anything shared privately I won’t put out in public except in a generic ‘some people are finding’ kind of way.


About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

4 responses to “Community solutions

  • hejyork

    On a similar note, there is a book called depression: a public feeling. I’ve only read a review about it not the book yet but it talked about depression being a reaction to society and the world as it is now rather than as an individual issue. framing some mental illness as a political response and politically based issue instead of a highly medicalised issue. according to one review on amazon she talks about writers block as well. As I said, I’ve not read it but it sounds an interesting take.

    In terms of inspiration block, it does feel like a response to the world. There are a lot of huge, overwhelming issues which can leave us feeling helpless and insignificant and as though unless we make a huge gesture we will not make a dent in things and the pressure to make that huge world changing thing can freeze us. I think there may also be an aspect of should I be focusing my energy on creating this beautiful thing when there is so much bad stuff happening. Almost as though it’s an indulgence to use our time this way…

    It’s a very interesting area for thought and I think it’ll bounce around my mind for a bit

  • Linda Davis

    Yes, on one level, some of my most prolific outpourings of poetry have been in times of personal depression (and I don’t just mean dark ‘woe is me’ stuff 😉). But the depression and pain that comes from the outside and on a global scale seems to have the opposite effect and shuts me down in all sorts of ways. I have recently had a bit of inspiration going, but it is only when I turn away from the constant bombardment of negativity….wow I just noticed that word…bomb-Bard-ment!
    Should I feel guilty for not wanting to listen to news broadcasts and dropping out of some fb groups or is it more important to allow our creative selves the space they need? Maybe that is what the world needs most right now, or at sometime in the future when there is time to look back?
    Another aspect for those of us whose creativity is expressed in words is the sheer number of words out there now, not just in books but on’t tinternet…sheesh! I certainly think I need to decide who I really need to hear (Nimue being one!) and again, leave some space for my own words to gestate and be born.

  • lornasmithers

    Following from your ‘Where’s My Inspiration?’ post, I think the lack of interest in non-mainstream creativity and spirituality can be a dampener on inspiration for folks writing from the edges. Maybe we have to stop thinking in terms of clicks on blogs, books sales, nos at performances and aim instead for building something magical and awesome for the sake of who or whatever we hold as sacred and for the pure necessity and joy of creating?

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