At Wind&Bones, one myth we’re keen to dispel is the myth of the suffering artist. One of the things we do when working with writers is help them find ways to seek out delight and pleasure in their writing. Because once you have pleasure and delight, you have energy and life, and when you have energy and life, you are already half-way to creating something worthwhile.
Of course, writing can be difficult (tell us about it). But difficulty is not the same as suffering. So have a read of Wind&Bones’s Will Buckingham, and his piece on the Finnish writer Tove Jansson, the perniciousness of the myth of suffering for your art, and how to seek out delight, whatever you want to create.
One reason that the idea of the suffering artist is so very pernicious is that it dulls our instincts for pleasure and delight. And it eclipses the central role that pleasure plays in creating anything of value. The myth of suffering for your art teaches us that pleasure is an indication that something is wrong, a worrying sign of our superficiality. And this idea is fatal for our creative well-being.