I’ve noticed recently that, when I’m stressed and/or depressed, I seek solace in creative outlets. I’m sure I’m not the only one who does this, and I’m a firm believer that creative activities can be very therapeutic.
Writing, of course, is my main creative outlet but when I’m down, my writing doesn’t flow. It feels as if ideas are falling over themselves in their rush to reach the paper, and I find it difficult to manage any structure or continuity. Interestingly, these aimless jottings occasionally lead to something more cohesive, or they may inspire a ‘missing’ scene or piece of dialogue in whatever I’m working on at the time.
Drawing was a childhood pastime that I honed in my teens and twenties. I used to draw a lot, but I fell out of the habit in my thirties and have lost confidence in any skill I may have had. I tell myself that skill is less important than the cathartic and distracting practice of simply drawing, but these days my inner voice is very persuasive in preventing me from seeking out my pencil and paper.
I love to take photos. I have three cameras – two are digital, the other takes 35mm film – and I also have a fairly decent camera on my phone. Photography used to be a semi-serious hobby: I had a tripod, and for a while I briefly experimented with black and white film, filters, and different lenses. Nowadays most of my photos are taken with my phone, for convenience (because it’s always with me), but I often yearn for a day out with my camera. There is something wonderfully calming about strolling around in search of an interesting image, whether it’s in the countryside, at the seashore, or in the middle of town.
This afternoon, I spent half an hour on the beach with my phone, taking shots of the sand, sea and promenade. It worked wonders for my frame of mind, and I returned home feeling calm and relaxed.
These are just a few of the photos that I took today:
I love the sea, and a walk along the beach will always relax and rejuvenate me and it often inspires me, too. Taking photos at the same time is the perfect form of creative therapy for me.