Does Wedded Bliss Affect Creativity?


I recently got an email on a music mailing list I’m on. It was from a friend and former officemate who was asking about any studies made on creativity and marriage…He said:

>BTW, is there a study on creativity and marriage? I personally think that a single/divorced person has the chance to be more creative. Look at all those artists who have messed up marriages. I’ve been married for about 6 months and I can’t seem get back to my “glory” days (in terms of music creativity). I guess it has to do with having to do all the husbandly duties. Don’t tell my wife! Hehehe

My response was this:

I feel for you, man, I really do. I’ve been married for a year and I personally decided to give up on gigs. (More time spent at home, and all.) So in one sense, there is a lot you sacrifice in order to make the relationship work.

On the other hand, because I have more free time, I’ve been able to learn all the software you guys on the list have been talking about for eons. And it’s inspired me to do more than I used to.

The payoff I guess is that all this experimentation (I feel) has less emotional output ( i.e. raw passion) than my past work.

Happiness does tend to dull the need to express yourself through art. The trick is not to STAY unhappy (what a crappy way to live) but rather to use little pre-creating activities to push you into the act of creating. In short, don’t sit around waiting for inspiration to hit. Do something that might ignite your creative juices….

Creativity Pushing Examples:
1. Going through a library of loops, finding 10 random loops and tweaking the hell out of them. This might inspire you to create a new composition out of your newly tweaked audio loops. And even if it doesn’t, you’ve still created 10 new loops which you can use in the future.

2. Randomly finding a weird tuning for your guitar strings , and playing around with different fingerings. This may lead to song-creation or it may simply give u a cool tuning system for future use.

3. Picking one 16-measure segment of a song on a commercial CD and recreating it on your sequencer using different slightly patches. Think of it as making a 16-measure minus one with variations…. I’ve found this quite the appetizer for further song creation. At the very least, you learn how some arrangers do their MIDI and layer their tracks.

4. Picking 10 random words from a book and moving them about to create an abstract poem. Playing with random words and forcing yourself to create a sense out of disjointed words often squeezes something creative out of even the most blocked artist.

I really think the key to creativity is attitude. And keeping busy in ways which might stimulate your right brain further.

Check out some of those creativity books. Particularly “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron, which is like putting yourself through a fantastic solo seminar on how to incorporate creativity in your life– even in between doing husbandly chores!!!!

Good luck. And remember, if you don’t create the songs within you, no one will.


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