Is Social Rejection the Key to Creativity?

Should you find yourself nodding a lot while reading, the comments on this post suggest you’re not alone. I mean, we all know Charlie Brown is the giant among his peers, don’t we?–though I’m holding out some hope for Pig Pen. Seriously, I’m guessing a lot of creative people will see pieces of themselves in this post.

Cody Delistraty

On the psychology of why rejection and loneliness may be necessary evils for the creative genius

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About JunkChuck

Native, Militant Westsylvanian (the first last best place), laborer, gardener, and literary hobbyist (if by literary you mean "hack"). I've had a bunch of different blogs, probably four, due to a recurring compulsion to start over. This incarnation owes to a desire to dredge up the best entries of the worst little book of hand-scrawled poems I could ever dream of writing, salvageable excerpts from fiction both in progress and long-abandoned. and a smattering of whatever the hell seems to fit at any particular moment. At first blush, I was here just to focus on old, terrible verse, but I reserve the right to include...anything. Maybe everything, certainly my love of pulp novels growing garlic, the Pittsburgh Steelers and howling at the moon--both figuratively and, on rare occasions, literally.
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3 Responses to Is Social Rejection the Key to Creativity?

  1. Interesting post you reblogged here. Some bits I agree with, others not. Too many factors involved in the evolution and wiring of a genius I think to simply pin it to emotional or mental instability. I think the depression often sets in for creative types as they try to reconcile their exuberant imaginations with the conformity of a social environment that is opposingly rigid in its evaluations. But what would I know? 🙂

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    • JunkChuck says:

      You nailed it. My thoughts exactly. Lots to think about here, which I may actually appreciate more than if I fully agreed–because nobody likes a know-it-all. I have experienced social rejection only rarely and long ago, but even then had a tendency to set myself apart, particularly in my late teens and early to mid-twenties. I sometimes joke that I’m so lazy “even my depression was half-assed.” As I grew older, I also grew more confident and surly–my wife is fantastic and fiercely loyal, my kids blindly adore me for no good reason beyond simple conditioning, and I’ve got some good friends, so isolation isn’t really relevant–you either like me or go fuck yourself, right? That’s a powerful and liberating way to feel as an artist.

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      • I think it’s funny how two people with such diverse life experiences such as ours can arrive at the same point in life, in terms of general attitude. When I was a kid I never saw myself as being different from anyone, I thought that whatever I experienced in my own peculiar way, everyone could experience. Naively perhaps I still believe that to a great extent. I had to learn the hard way however, that no matter how much I tried to be accepted into my sociocultural family, I was nevertheless vehemently singled out for one reason or another, and of course that has nothing to do with actually being different but rather comes down to blatant stupidity.
        I realise of course years later, that in a number of ways I really am quite unique and different than the established ‘norm’ (now there’s a contentious grey area if ever there was one). Most people aren’t Synaesthetes for example, so automatically my perception of the world is markedly different, and thus getting others to see things as I do is nigh on impossible without a lot of confusion and distortion, (I get on just fine with young kids and animals). That’s where the artist me steps in and takes full advantage of the mystery and ambiguity that art can create. “Your word against mine right? Don’t like what I do? Then you just don’t get my art, go fuck yourself” – that kind of thing. And yes, that is liberating.
        In fact much of my writing across my blogs has been about this very subject, and the sheer hypocrisy we exercise as a bunch of seemingly intelligent bipedal monkeys. My soap-box is a fine platform indeed – !

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