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Writing in Negative Spaces
A negative or alternative space is a place in which you feel uncomfortable or not yourself. It is a space where you are going through something hard or something out of your control, and yet you are creative. Take me for example; I was in a mental facility for Bipolar depression and BPD, but I created some of the most beautiful poetry while I was there. I was in three different rooms.
Stage 1: The first was nice, but with outdated furniture, a coffee table that served no other purpose other than to hit your shins on, and art on the wall which made no sense whatsoever. However, I was creative.
Stage 2: The second room I was in was due to the fact that I got the virus and needed to be isolated from the general population. There the room was better, but the roommate was from hell. A person who thought the world owed her something and so did I. Cost me an expensive piece of headphones and some of my perfume to get her to leave me alone. In that space of negative emotion, I was still able to create and write deep things I never thought I would feel.
Stage 3: The third room I was in was the Honeymoon Suite; the place used to be a lodge, which is not a hospital. I upgraded and with it so did my thoughts. I learned to listen. What sounded like rolling thunder was the sound of luggage being rolled across the pavement outside, and the constant tapping on my walls gave me the inspiration to write about it as if I were Poe talking about the rats in the walls. When you are in a negative space, you need to use all your senses to really be able to create. I would listen to all the different languages of people around me and would make up in my head countless ideas for possible dialogue. When your country has 11 different languages you start to wonder what is being said, and you almost never get it right. However, even when I saw people, I would try to “write” their stories in my head. I was trying to solve problems I had with other people playing certain roles in the story.
Then there were the therapy, group sessions, and even a family session. For once someone was listening and that made life so much easier. My work had become more fluid and I began to feel more at ease with myself and what I was capable of creating. I was using all my senses and even doing my best to capture emotion on paper. I cannot teach this; it is something you need to experience and grasp for yourself to truly understand the power that a so-called negative space can bring. In the end, I faced my demons and came out of it a stronger person with a lot more to say for once in my life. Use whatever space life places you in for creative purposes.
Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Anelynde Smit