There has been a lot of research recently into the neuroscience of creating. When people engage in creative pursuits, they receive a dose of ‘feel good hormones’, released by their brain. This isn’t just for professionally creative people either. Studies have shown anyone can feel great after they’ve been creative, and that those creative pursuits can be many and varied.
Anecdotally, I have noticed that whenever I spend a good portion of my day writing, whether it be for a novel, or a blog post, I feel happy and satisfied after the fact. Research suggests that this is true of any creative pursuit, so it explains my similar feelings when I cook a big meal, or spend the afternoon painting.
While we know that creating makes us feel good, sometimes it can be hard to sit down and actually get to the business of creating. This feeling of discomfort is referred to as resistance by Steven Pressfield, in his book, The War of Art. According to Pressfield, resistance can come in many forms, and it often prevents us from getting good work done.
Knowing that I will experience this resistance at first, but feel great after I’ve actually done some writing, I have made writing as much of a habit as I can. I block off a concerted period of time, I make daily writing goals, and firm weekly deadlines I need to hit. I clear my writing space of distractions, and make sure I sit down to write. While it’s nice to do daily work, and finally see the end product of a finished novel, more and more I find myself writing for the feeling of wellness that it gives me.
Do you feel good after you’ve spent some time creating? Tell me in the comments below?
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