|full bloom 7:50 a.m.|
Is there any truth to the theory that we are at our most creative in the morning? I've been contemplating this a lot lately while trying to design my daily schedule to include more creative time. I myself am not a morning person. The alarm clock is one of my greatest foes. So it would take some serious habit breaking and auditing of my schedule to get used to having a morning creative practice. But the claims of great success with morning yoga practices and mediation rituals, or "morning pages" journaling, are starting to make me wonder. Are the artists who go straight to work in their studios each morning more creative and successful?
It makes sense if we consider that we are fresh from dream land in the morning, and perhaps we are able to tap into the imaginative thoughts and images that came with our dreams when they're not too far gone. Maybe you have insomnia like I do and you are up at night thinking up ridiculously brilliant ideas that are still fresh in your mind each morning. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to act on those ideas before they end up on the "Oh, I'll get to it later" list?
Morning glories are known for their brilliant bluish-purple hues and bloom gorgeously in the earlier hours of the day. By late afternoon, they look tired and wilted, much like I do on my evening drive home from work. I am not at full bloom at that point, but for some reason I keep thinking I should be going home and trying to make the best art. This might be totally counterproductive! I feel that as the day goes on, my mind begins to get cluttered with day jobs, errands, to-do lists, family obligations and all the little dramas I let distract me. Not to mention, I'm just plain tired! I surely lose focus and motivation after a long day of teaching and tutoring. My mind is no longer fresh and alert after giving so much energy to the little people that consume my day-time hours. Maybe I slip further away from the potential I have to form my most original and inspired ideas as the hours tick by.
I definitely don't think this is a hard and fast rule. There are very creative, productive and motivated night owls out there. I have had many successful late night art sessions myslef. But I'm really wondering if a morning art ritual or creative practice is something I should explore. I am beginning to see bits of evidence that this could really work for me. I sometimes wake up to lines of poetry floating through my mind in the morning. By the time I'm in the shower, I'm taking mental notes of blog article ideas. When I walk my dog before work, I so often notice things in my environment that I want to capture with my camera. Maybe this is the time of day I should turn the lamps on in my studio and put in an hour of mixed media art play.
I think it's worth a try to make like a morning glory and allow ourselves time to reach full creative bloom before we really start the rest of our day. What an awesome way to start the day, with a creative accomplishment before day-to-day life gets the best of us. What a great way to remind ourselves that our creativity is so important that it should be one of the first things we make time for in our busy days.
It's important for those of us trying to build a more creative life to pay attention to when we are our most creative, focused, productive, motivated, inspired and inventive selves. When do your brilliant ideas flow most freely? Can you pinpoint a particular time of day and arrange your schedule to include creative play during that time? For me it means sending myself to bed early and getting up before the sun. This will not be a delightful retraining, but it could do wonders for my creativity.