When Are You Most Creative?
Our cat’s purr at 3 a.m. is distinct. Not a full yowl, but enough to wake me.
Sometimes I make it back to bed after feeding him, but most mornings I head to my office instead.
I’m tired, yes, but the off-hours schedule suits me.
No neighbors mowing their lawns. No dogs barking or young kids playing in their yards. Just stillness, with the occasional sound of a vehicle rumbling in the distance.
I got up early for my previous job, too, using the quiet time to complete those tasks I knew would take a backseat to meetings and impromptu requests.
But the focus now isn’t preparing myself for the day’s commitments. It’s tapping into my creative potential while it’s at its peak.
Instead of overthinking my writing goals, I do what comes naturally. Sometimes it’s reading. Sometimes it’s writing a blog post, finishing an article pitch, or editing a chapter.
When I’m on a roll, ideas pour forth without my nitpicky inner editor getting in the way. What I write during this time is more inspired — filled with more colorful scenery, narrative, and purpose—than anything I could ever produce when wrestling my analytical demons.
I accept this schedule because I’m more productive when I start work before the sun does.
You may not feel the same.
That’s why recommendations to follow someone else’s approach rarely work. They don’t see what you see or feel what you feel. There’s no insight into your writing process. Your struggles and previous experience aren’t factored in.
Others can only offer suggestions based on what works for them, like I’m doing with this post. But it’s up to you to try as many approaches as you need until you settle into a groove that suits you.
If you like writing in the morning, get up early and write at will to start your day.
If you’re a night owl, you also enjoy the stillness of the world once everyone else is in bed.
Or maybe you write best in a coffee shop or library mid-day as others mill about. Whatever your creative self craves, grant it the freedom to play and explore.
If you’re new to the writing space or struggling to find traction in your efforts, work with your natural rhythms instead of against them. You may be pleasantly surprised at all you accomplish.
I love the early morning hours because I analyze less when I’m tired. This prevents procrastination and any mental roadblocks to whatever I’m working on.
Of course, what I write during this time needs some editorial love before it’s ever released to the public.
But that’s what a nap and working in the afternoon is for.