How not being creative just invites in the Brain Monster

I've got a theory that can be summed up in a single sentence. Are you ready for it? Here goes.

If you don’t expend creative energy, BAD THINGS HAPPEN.

Mark my words. BAD. THINGS.

Of course creative energy can be expended in a million different ways. Writing, drawing, photography, graphic design, knitting, creating things with your hands. Even finding solutions to organization problems or coming up with really cool math problems. (Once upon a time, I did technical support for spreadsheet software for a few years and I wrote some paragraphs-long formulas that had the power to make me float on a creative high for days. DAYS, I tell you!)

It wasn’t until I cashed in every single one of my creative outlets for writing that I realized the full effect of creative energy expenditure. You know, sometimes life gets busy. And you don’t have time to write (or whatever your favorite method is). And that’s when the bad things happen.

Photo Credit: hugoo13
You see, there’s this thing that lives in your brain. He’s a maniacal, crazy, hyper little monster, and doing creative things is like Valium to him. When he doesn't get his Valium, he goes wild. Wild like a nine year old ADHD kid hopped up on mass amounts of sugar, Dr. Pepper, and red dye #40. He runs around your brain and beats on the walls and yells and jumps and throws things, and it takes EVERY OUNCE OF PATIENCE TO HANDLE THE CHAOS ENSUING.

And the thing is, you don't even realize it's going on. You don't realize that you have spent every bit of your patience until something else comes along. Any tiny little thing, really. And suddenly you can't handle it. And you don't even know why, because it's such a teeny little thing. Of course you should be able to handle it just fine! But you don't.

See? Bad things.

I swear to you, if you ever feel this way, you can look back and say, "Wow. When was the last time I did something creative?"

And you'll hear the answer in a maniacal, crazy, hyper voice. "Forever ago! I NEED MY VALIUM!"

If you go and expend ANY kind of creative energy (but preferably the kind you've been most craving), then the BAD THINGS DISAPPEAR. Like magic.

So go be creative! Write! Draw! Make cool math problems! Then everything will come up roses again. I promise.