Gone are the days of smoking something, or drinking a few and getting creative. Ever since I had a thrombosis, actually quite some time before it, I used to medicate to evoke my creative juices, but since I ate some cold turkey, I find my creative juices have been more regular, but it's those gaps between, or the ebb and flow that I find intensely frustrating...
Am I alone in this? I am sure I am not. So .. ?
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No, you are not alone. Could be related to a lot of things. I find my ebb and flow to be more seasonal. My best writing month is in August, after a couple of months off, a more regular sleep cycle, and lower stress from teaching. February is pretty good too, since it is one of the calmest teaching months: consistent teaching days and schedule with fewer interruptions or distractions. Gingko Biloba seems to help me too, whether or not it actually works, it seems to for me, so maybe there's a placebo effect going on, but whatever works, right?
Strangely enough, I find that I write,and work online, better when the kids are home from school. I think my own creativity seeps away under the incessant strain of a super-early school run, nutritious picnic lunches, homework supervision and the countless domestic management chores in between. I therefore tend to work most productively in the vacations when there are no set times and we can please ourselves about when to work and when to take time out.
There is much to be said for rest and lack of stress. One article in the news mentioned that there now is scientific proof that the old expression "sleeping on it" really does work. Evidently, neurons make connections while people sleep so that people wake and with the "I've got an idea" greeting them.
Another way to generate ideas is one that Charles Darwin used: He took long strolls around his property. But, this too works as walking relaxes a person and assists in the switch to the right side, the creative side, of the brain. The problem is trying to remember one's ideas until one can write them down. Maybe taking a little notebook along....
From examinining the history of composers and songwriters, artists, etc. there is clear evidence that people do have more creative times in their lives than others.
I find that a combination of good and restful sleep with regular exercise seems to help me. I guess that goes along with what others have been saying. I also notice that certain times of the day are better for me, usually early mornings.
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