Friday, October 23, 2009

Taking Joy In Your Work

If you've hung around here for a while, you've probably noticed that sometimes I've very grumpy, especially if I have to do tasks that I don't like/that I'm not good at. But for the most part, I thoroughly enjoy the work I do. Writing is not something I have to suffer through before I'm allowed to have fun.

During conversation with one of my cousins today, I realised that she does not take pleasure in her life, work or any activity she undertakes. Her conversation is made up mostly of complaints about how other people were rude to her, hurt her feeling etc.

If she went out to dinner at a fancy restaurant and you asked her what it was like, she'd tell you about the skinny woman in the lift who wore really nice expensive clothes ( which she wishes she had), the fact that they had to wait overly long for their table while people who came after them were ushered in quickly and a myriad of things that went wrong.

I'm not saying that she should pretend a happiness she does not feel. But for every negative thing that happens in her life, surely there must be many positives? I think she does not see the good because she is too focussed on the bad. She is the quintessential victim who is constantly trying to solicit sympathy, and does not understand why people avoid her.

She's young, and hopefully she'll outgrow this habit. But it saddens me that he loses out on the joy of life, simply because she does not see anything to be joyful about.

Question: Does your world view influence the subjects you cover in your writing/blogging/art and the viewpoint you take in the telling? Do miserable people make better artists or the other way round or maybe, the artist's temperament does not matter as long as he/she is talented?


po said...

Hmm, I never thought about temperament and writing talent. I think very negative people will never get round to starting to write.

Personally I think mental illness and talent often go hand in hand, but not necessarily temperament.

What do you think?

Damaria Senne said...

hmmm! I had to think really hard about that. I've read of extremely talented artists who have mental illness. Some of them, it's as if they become this talent and are unable to cope with life beyond that. As a creative, that's not what I want for myself. I want to be the kind of writer who can produce an excellent product and still be able to function; have a normal family life.
And sometimes I wonder if the world romanticises talent; like it's OK for artists (in various media) not to attempt to deal with the realities of their lives because they are so talented.
"She's a writer, you know. That is why she walks to the corner shop in her pyjamas. You know how artists are."

Tamara said...

I write far better poetry when I am angry or miserable. But I think I am able to write better articles when I'm stable and thinking logically. Things even out ;-)

I hear what you're saying - I don't want to have Ernest Hemingway's level of talent if it means I can't escape his personal tragedies.

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