As with most creative related dilemmas, I made a breakthrough in my quest to find more time when I least expected it. This morning, I feel like I cracked a creative code, and I suspect my discovery will change the way I make things from now on. It feels revolutionary. Are you ready to hear what it is?
I discovered that I don't need more time. I just need to figure out when my creative peak time is and use that time effectively. It turns out my creativity was simply keeping the wrong hours. Let me explain.
I got up an hour earlier today, for no particular reason, certainly not planned. Once I was awake, I was struck by the urge to work on a blog post for The Perpetual Visitors Theatre Company at the kitchen table while I had a cup of tea and a bit of breakfast. Now, it must be said that I've never considered myself a morning person, so following this instinct to write in the morning felt a bit odd at first. However, I've noticed that if I try to work on a creative project after work and dinner and laundry, say around 8:00 pm, I don't have much steam left. In the past, I have devoted two or three or more hours in the evening to a project and noticed that I usually don't get that much accomplished. I don't feel inspired, and I don't feel as sharp. I often feel just plain tired, and ready to wind down for the night. Three hours worth of working while feeling tired produces what an hour of very focused work does. Yet I've been following the old "more time spent means more work accomplished" model nearly all my life.
But this morning, sitting at my computer, I was bursting with ideas. From 7:15 am until nearly 8:00 am, I wrote quite easily and actually had to pull myself away to get ready for my day job. What would have been a tedious task twelve hours later was joyful. Who knew that spending 45 minutes working in the morning could be just as, if not more fruitful than three times as long working in the evening?
Give it a try yourself, and be open to the idea that your creative peak might occur at an entirely different hour that you imagine it would. Have you always been a morning person? You could work best on writing your novel at night. Perhaps you're a night owl, but sneaking in 30 minutes of writing at lunch feels best. Experiment with it and commit yourself to the task of finding out what hours your creativity really keeps. It may change the way you work and even help to pull you out of a creative rut.
I'm signing off a bit early tonite so that I can get up early tomorrow morning and have that quiet, playful, creative corner of the day before the clock strikes 8:00 am to chip away at all the things I want to make but never thought I had the time to.
I'd love to hear, do you have a favorite time of day to write, rehearse, make music, or paint?