Today I was listening to one Horizon program, which was on the tired and trite subject of the link between creativity and madness.
Surprisingly, it had something useful to say, and it is that people with some particular neurological conditions, particularly Tourette Syndrome, when put into an fMRI machine seem to be unable to switch their creativity off. A normal person shoved inside the machine and asked to compose a story from a few words (ah!) and to do it as creatively or non-creatively as possibile (hum…) show very different brain activity. Tourette subject – in their brain, the area associated with creativity lights up all the time. Even when asked not to be creative, the produce wild, fantastic stories.
The program goes on talking about dopamine, and how stabilizing a Tourette subject means walking a very tight line between slowing them down and avoiding to freeze them. Mania, and graphomania in particular, also seems to be connected with dopamine.
Which has very little to do with our boring normal brains, but from what I know, brain functions are like muscles: the more they are requested, the more the neural pathways develop. And so it very well could be that making an effort to be creative pushes your brain to produce more dopamine, and day in, day out, finally your brain will get the message that more dopamine is requested, and will start producing it before you even ask.
Yeah, this is all wild speculation, and I suppose that I could (and should) do a bit of research on dopamine and creativity in Google Scholar and see what it throws up. But I find it really suggestive.