Wednesday, May 30, 2012

When Do You Do Your Best Creative Thinking?

I am not a morning person.

This simple fact wasn’t a problem back when I was a graduate student. I could get up as late as I wanted – unless I was teaching a class – and work as late as I needed to. Sometimes past midnight. No matter. I’d just get up late the next day anyway. Ah, those were heady days. Then I got a real job and an alarm clock. Shudders. At least I’ve trained myself to only hit the snooze button four or five times before I get out of bed. (My wife swears it’s more like six or seven.)

My problem isn’t just the difficulty in dragging myself out of bed. I learned a long time ago that I’m not a good decision maker early in the morning. My thoughts tend toward the pessimistic, and ideas which sounded great the night before somehow seem hopelessly pathetic when I’m first getting out of bed. For this reason, I never allow myself to think about my WIP when I wake up. I’d have given up writing years ago if I based my decisions on my early morning opinions of my manuscript.

So I’ve been surprised to find that I do some of my best creative thinking about 15 minutes after I get up. Whether I’m in the shower or eating breakfast or driving the 50 minutes to work every day – this is when I get my best ideas. Of course this often means I spend ten minutes sitting in the parking lot at work, jotting down all these ideas, but it’s better than losing them to the ether. I should probably invest in one of those portable voice recorders.

When do you do your best writing?

1 comment:

  1. I'm a night owl because sometimes I get on a roll writing or just don't want to stop until I finish a chapter. But my best thinking often happens when I can't write. And it's random. I might be walking around the block reading a book or going through my morning routine. I hate it when I can't write because I don't have time, even though it's no longer a day job keeping me too busy. I woke up last week while herding a large group of mindreading children away from whatever facility we were escaping. Thanks to the cats meowing for breakfast, all I remember is that I laid down some sort of mental umbrella to cover our thoughts. My notebook is in the nightstand, still blank.

    Instead of a voice recorder, my idea was too hook up Dragon Naturally speaking to my baby laptop and take that on walks. I keep forgetting to turn it on so here I am, typing, not talking.