Firstly, thanks to those who responded to my plea in the last blog post.
I'm sure you will have noticed that some people are more creative than others. While we can't apply this to people's occupations - I am sure there are creative tax accountants and auditors - there is a popular belief that there is a link between creativity and mental illness. The "artistic temperament" is well known. This link has been the subject of academic studies, but the results are still not conclusive.
There is an interesting article here that's worth looking at http://counsellingresource.com/features/2009/09/21/creativity-and-mental-illness/. I found this paragraph resonated with me:
"The ability to see the world in an unconventional manner and to adopt perspectives not commonly shared can be both a blessing and a curse. Many creative individuals find themselves outside of the mainstream of both thought and method. As a result, they can experience periods when they feel unaccepted, misunderstood, and painfully alone. It is this reality that Don McLean sought to capture in his musical tribute to Vincent Van Gogh."
What about you? Do you ever feel like that? I don't consider that I have a mental illness, but I do feel I'm not "mainstream".
Let's look at a different angle again - is your creative work given the respect by your friends and family that you think it should have? Have you experienced people dismissing what you do as unimportant, or not a real job, or just playing around? Have you been made to feel that you're wasting your time?