Pia shares Her Dark Half - Special Edition

Creativity when the world is burning

Halloween has long passed and the spooky decorations in the stores have been replaced by twinkling Christmas trees and ornaments. But who says the scary season is over! I usually just extend mine all the way to Creepmas and do my best to take advantage of the early sunsets and cooler nights (can you say candle weather?). It's a great time to be creative and really let out your dark side, even revel in it.

But this year, it feels...off, doesn’t it?

There's this nagging thought that keeps me ill at ease - how it all feels kind of dumb and tactless to embrace horror/darkness in the arts and be entertained by it - while there are conflicts and wars raging on the ‘other side’ of the world. There, real horror is taking place, relentlessly and in real time.

It's bad. Really bad. My anxiety hit the roof. I had to turn off the news. It’s easy to do, right? Just tune it out and look away. What can you do, besides maybe sending some money for aid, take part in protests and/or vote. It just feels like a drop in the bucket. Will humans ever evolve out of the war mindset? I don’t know. I doubt it.

We have been so lucky to be spared big world wars for the past seven decades. We’re fortunate to have been born into this era. I’m grateful for the relative peace and democracies we’ve managed to keep in the Western world. However, recent events and developments remind me to never take such comforts for granted again. Some food for thought when you sit at your big Thanksgiving table surrounded by family and/or friends, without a worry that a missile might hit your home. Peace is a blessing!

Whoa, I got waaay more serious than I had planned for this newsletter edition! Sorry for the wake-up call. (Not really, though.)

Back to our regularly scheduled program.

Why embrace creativity right now?

How and even why should we still work on creative projects? How can we feel inspired or motivated when there is so much suffering and pain in the world?

Creativity can be a tool for processing intense emotions like anxiety, dread and fear. Our creativity can help us connect with others. Or maybe we simply need to escape reality for a little while and get some ‘headspace’.

Here are some tips on how to still work on creative projects when the world seems on fire:

Turn off your TV and put down your smart phone - While it is important to stay informed about what is happening in the world, it is also important to protect your mental health. Set limits or monitor how much time you spend reading or watching the news. Too much exposure to bad news can be overwhelming and make it difficult to focus on anything.

Allow yourself to feel your emotions. Acknowledge your feelings, even if they’re negative, and don’t try to suppress them. It’s ok to feel sad, angry or scared, but don’t let things put you in a downward spiral. Work through it, meditate or take a few deep breaths; or scream into a pillow. And then find healthy ways to:

Express your emotions through art. Yes, even in the darkest times, there is still beauty and hope to be found. Find inspiration in nature, people you love or things that bring you joy. Your art can be a way to process your feelings and let them play out. And it doesn’t have to be happy or cheerful. Believe me, I’m totally down with dark or angry art. Just be honest with yourself and express yourself in a way that feels authentic. Depending on your creative outlet, this may just be the time to write that killer song, poem, story or script! You just might find inspiration to create a visual art piece that’ll knock your socks off. Or think about finally writing that blog or newsletter to share your thoughts and feelings.

Find a creative community. Spending time or working with other creative people can help you stay motivated. If not in person, try creative groups online. You can share your work, get tips and feedback or commiserate - either way, you’ll feel less alone. (In my case, for example, I’d love to do a podcast with someone or be part of one, but I don’t have a clue yet on how to go about it. Got ideas?)

Use your creativity to make a difference. Art can be a powerful tool for social change and raise awareness about important issues. Use it to inspire people to take action. Get involved in projects like community events or fundraisers to support a cause that you care about. Or volunteer your creative skills to a nonprofit organization that works on issues dear to your heart. Maybe they need your talents for marketing, designing a website or writing copy.

It’s important to remember that you don’t have to create anything that is specifically about the bad news in the world. Also, don’t force yourself to be creative when you’re absolutely not feeling it. Maybe set small creative goals for yourself for now. Don’t add to your stress - after all, being creative is supposed to be your relief valve.

Maybe it’s all gonna be alright and maybe it’s just me being all gloom and doom. I’m a worrier and I have uncanny talent for coming up with worst case scenarios. Just ask my hubby and close friends. Where do you think Her Dark Half came from? Then again, I like to believe in the good - and in positive surprises! To quote Eric Draven from ‘The Crow’: “It can’t rain all the time.”

Hopefully you find this newsletter edition to be useful for your situation. Feel free to share with whoever you think needs this!

On a personal note: I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all my friends, family and supporters out there. I can only hope to be as awesome and helpful to you as you have been to me!

Thank you and may you be blessed with all the best karma!


Have a great Thanksgiving - with all the trimmings!

This is a free edition of Pia shares Her Dark Half. If you’d like to continue reading future editions, unlock them for a small fee via my Patreon page, where you can also gain access to my ongoing Diary of an Indoor Cat and support my other art projects.

You can still read some earlier editions for free and subscribe here for quarterly future updates about my projects. You can also communicate with me via the usual methods on social media. Or find ALL the links and go down the rabbit hole (linktree) here! I welcome your support @piathrasher on Venmo or Paypal.

Thank you from the bottom of my black little heart! ~ Pia

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