[The following is a comment I made to the NY Times article titled, “On Not Writing,” by Bill Hayes.]
Thank you for this. It’s a great article. I’ve been writing for 43 years, and I’ve only had one time that I absolutely could not write. That period went on for four or five years and followed my wife leaving me and the divorce. And then a second divorce, actually, a few years later. My life was in turmoil. My daughter disappeared, and we didn’t know if she was alive or dead for two weeks. These events threw me into the old midlife crisis. So I didn’t get anything down on paper for a few years, but then I got really serious about writing, changed jobs, moved to Boulder, Colorado and took classes at the University of Colorado, attended writers’ conferences. Got a poem published in The Paris Review. Life has its way with us at times, and it can detrimentally effect our creative output but eventually seems to renew it.
The only theory that I have found that even comes close to describing the creative mind is Carl Jung’s analytical psychology. His theory of the Unconscious, and in particular his Active Imagination techniques, tells me he knew all about it. It’s unfortunate that so much New Age mumbo jumbo has grown up around it and has discredited it in some people’s minds. http://www.story-alchemy.com/?page_id=166