Solitude and creativity

The concept of solitude is getting a bad name lately, in the era of social everything. We’re both connected and disconnected at the same time and creativity cannot survive or emerge in environments that do not encourage it. Solitude has come to represent something negative and anti-social, when in fact it is a very effective tool in achieving creativity, reaching that place within that needs to be explored and expressed.

 

Attitudes towards solitude

Creative people, artists, and scientists alike expressed (all throughout history) positive thoughts on the role of solitude in the creative process. Presently, other schools of thought place solitude and collaboration at opposite sides of the spectrum. The answer is not easy because as much as we’d like, things are rarely ever so black and white.

I believe that solitude is not at the opposite side of collaboration, they are rather on different panes. Solitude allows creativity to come to life, whereas collaboration increases the potential for creative endeavor. Solitude and collaboration are two different steps within the same process, they are not in competition with one another.

The role of solitude

Choosing to be alone in a somewhat disciplined manner can give you the time and space necessary to process your emotions, by looking within.

Creativity is a very personal kind of experience, one that does not look like or get manifested the same for all. It is because creativity is so personal and subjective, the reason why it requires lots of introspection, thought and access to what helps it emerge: feelings. The emotions that you can relate to so well when you read a book, look at a painting or a photograph, or listen to music.

Emotions can be hard to access, especially because we have so many walls and defenses in place to protect ourselves. Accessing emotions requires dedicated time and effort in focusing within. That means that you need to be able to pause without distraction or interruptions. The goal is to give your mind blankness or the space that you need in order to step within and connect with yourself.

For some, this might sound like a tedious process and that is fairly true; you need lots of courage, patience, empathy towards yourself, and discipline to get to that point and many times it is impossible to do it on our own; therapy can help though.

Solitude (paired with silence) is one of the main keys to creativity because it can lead you straight to the emotions that need your attention most, and with it to the inspiration you are seeking.

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About Diana Pitaru

I created this blog to offer support and insight to those struggling with depression and its' minions. I am passionate about psychology, philosophy, art, and culture. I live in Denver, Colorado and am a psychotherapist and artist passionate about helping and supporting this growing number of people. These articles however, are not to be used as a substitute for therapy. That is a different matter. Thank you for stopping by, stick around, and share these resources with others who might need some support as well. You never know who might be suffering in silence.  If you are interested in learning more about my private practice in Denver, go to: www.therapistdiana.com View all posts by Diana Pitaru

2 responses to “Solitude and creativity

  • disconcerted72

    I really like this post. I’ve taken the MB Personality Type Indicator on several different occasions and I always fluctuate between being an extrovert and an introvert. I have found some of my best….hmmm…aspects are gained during times I’ve spent in introspection, but then again I find that being around others brings certain aspects of my personality out too.

    I value solitude when I need it and I value people at the times I need that… 🙂

    Like

    • Diana Pitaru

      Thank you. I think it is interesting you bring up the MBTI and how you found resolve for yourself within the conflicting results.
      I use this test extensively with my the people I see in therapy and while the results can be quite revealing and relief inducing to some, they can be confining to others. Some people use the result to label themselves, others try to live up to it whether that is who they are or not.
      I am a case in point: I’ve been told my entire life (by parents, friends, etc) that I am an extroverted person. I too took the MBTI several times with slight changes only in the Extroversion/Introversion area. For the longest time, I assumed that I am an extrovert and acted as such while at the same time having the greatest difficulty with it. Only later I realized that in reality I was an introvert trying to act and pretend to be an extrovert. No wonder it felt like a chore and uncomfortable. In the context of this article and in general, I think there is a lot of value in solitude, regardless of one being an introvert or extravert.
      Thank you for the kind comments!

      Liked by 1 person

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