Thursday, January 6, 2011

the inspiration hour

this is really part two of yesterday's post.
a friend was asking me about making time to write, and he specifically asked how do i find time to write and when??

i told him my creativity is at its peak in the morning, so i make an effort to set my alarm and get up before dawn if i have to in order to write my best stuff. if i'm under a self-imposed deadline, i'll write at night too, but i have to force it. it's not my "inspiration hour."

then he revealed to me the reason why he asked. it's because his inspiration hour is at two in the morning! he wakes up from a dead sleep, filled with ideas and words and ready to write. i don't envy him, but i did tell him if that's the time he feels most creative, then that's when he should do it. (i hope i was not wrong to tell someone to sacrifice sleep, and it's totally one of those "do as i say, not as i do" things, because NO WAY would i get out of bed at two in the morning to write.)

however, if you're passionate about writing and serious about finding a schedule/pattern that works for you, why not get up whenever inspiration strikes? if it's truly miserable, your body and brain may adjust and find you a new "inspiration hour." the point isn't to devote your life to choppy unsatisfying sleep. it's to be willing to try anything to stoke the creative fires - until you find what works.

uninterrupted sleep is not something i would personally sacrifice for writing, but sleep in general - yes, definitely. my "inspiration hour" is in the morning. the more 'morning' i have the better, so if that means waking up after just 5 or 6 hours of sleep, then i'm willing to do it.

(disclaimer: if sleep is integral to your own health or sanity, then by all means, do NOT give up sleep.)

i think the bottom line is... few people really have time to write. you have to MAKE the time. and that often means making sacrifices.

what about you? when is your "inspiration hour," and what have you sacrificed for writing, if not sleep?

1 comment:

fakesteph said...

I totally get it! My best writing happens late at night into the early morning hours. Luckily, my job doesn't start until 10 and is only 10 minutes from where I live, so I can stay up late to write and not have to worry about waking up too early.

Thanks for writing about this! Everyone seems to think I'm weird when I say my best writing hours are 11pm - 2am and sometimes later.