A few weeks ago I made a significant change in my life. I’ve always been a proponent of morning writing because that is when my creativity is at its highest. Unfortunately, I found my mornings too busy to write and had no choice but to cultivate the creative process later in the day.
The more writers and artists I meet, the more frequently I find out that the creativity well often runs dry even for the greatest talents. The difference between failures and achievers is often the ability to synthetically cultivate creativity on demand. You can’t wait for inspiration to find you. You must often create you own inspiration.
As my days grew crazier and I began my biphasic sleep schedule, I knew I’d have to force the creative process. I adopted a Tim Ferriss approach to creative release. A concoction of well-timed creativity drugs follows.
Yerba Mate – I wrote a post about Yerba Mate in the past. It’s just cool. Imagine drinking five coffees and taking a muscle relaxer. The caffeine in Yerba Mate is absorbed through the muscle tissues causing an increase in energy with a mellowing effect that allows you to still focus.
Music – I’m a big fan of Pandora. Big is an understatement; I’m a huge fan. I pay for Pandora One. I listen to stations I’ve created but also stations others are in control of. As I write this, I’m listening to a Tim Ferriss created station. Writing at midnight requires less native flutes and more Linkin Park. You can listen to the same thing I listen to by clicking on the Pandora Stations to the right.
A Movie – Right now I’m watching Skyfall for the umpteenth time. The movie plays on mute in front of me creating a mental break when I need it. I’ll look up when I’m at a loss and let my mind wonder for a moment. I feel the cinematography of a creative film helps my mind mimic the art it is absorbing.
Stand Up – I use my stand up desk at work or at home any time I need more energy. Standing helps my blood flow and creates a sense of urgency. When I am standing, my body is more active and my mind follows suit.
Sleep – Sleeping allows your mind to organize the information that has been piled into it all day. At the end of a long day, the last thing I want to do is attempt to spur an outpouring of ideas. Thanks to my biphasic sleep schedule, I sleep for 20 minutes just before writing. This allows my mind to organize my thoughts and opesn up much needed bandwidth.
Glucose – Without getting too scientific here, the brain is the largest consumer of glucose in our bodies. I consume glucose in the form of pasta, potatoes or whole grain breads two to three hours before writing. Consuming fats will delay how quickly this glucose is created so stay away from high fat foods before you write.
The best writers in the world appear to posses an endless stream of innovative ideas. The truth is, they’ve honed their creative process so that creativity peaks at just the moment they need it most. Follow these few steps and you too can cultivate the creative process on demand.
How could you benefit by timing your creativity for when you need it most?