Creative re-entry

There must be something to the notion of a creative come-down. I just spent the better part of the last 48 hours that weren’t occupied by sleeping working on characters and structure for a podcast drama project that’s been in the works for maybe a year now, with another person who came to Brisbane specifically for this (and to visit another close friend for that person’s birthday, but that person is actually involved in this project as well, so it all kind of blends together).

It’s not something I’ve done before, this kind of intense collaborative work on a single non-interactive narrative project, but it’s reminiscent of other times in my life where creativity was a much greater part of daily life (MFA studies, planning and running LARPs, that sort of thing).

And I’m a wreck right now. I feel low, rendered, defeated. Lost, maybe? Maybe not lost, because I’ve got a good vision of how to move forward with so much good stuff with so many fantastic people. I think the sense is closer to bereft, because God help me I saw an article about a stolen ’61 Impala and I just burst into tears (dad was a hot rodder and owned a … I think ’60 Impala, maybe ’61, in high school; featured in more than one yearbook page).

Again, I’m a wreck. Just writing those words, I’m a wreck. For reasons that are related to character exploration I’m not in the strongest place, feeling pretty poorly about myself, but I’m not new to that kind of emotional surfing. I do it all the time, though maybe I haven’t done it as extensively as I did it this weekend for a long time. So I may be out of practice.

So here’s a question: is there a sense of loss/bereavement at the end of a particularly fecund stretch of creative work/time? I know I’ve been through stretches that feel like this, but the circumstances were different, and it was probably 15 years ago. Is it the same thing? Have I been out of this kind of circle so long that I’ve lost the sense of the come-downs?

I know more than intellectually that there’s a lot more fun work to come, but for the moment I feel hollow and alone, and that seems like exactly the opposite of where I should be considering all the good stuff that happened yesterday and today. We’ll see how I’m going tomorrow.

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