What time of day do you feel the most creative?
I was that crazy, late night writer in college. I would stay up until 2 or 3 am writing horror stories for my fiction workshops each week. My junior year of college I actually scared myself into arachnophobia. I finished my short story “Eight” about poisonous spiders exploding from cacti at 2 in the morning and I would obsessively look over my shoulder to see if spiders were crawling up the wall behind me in the 24-hour science building.
My best lines and plot twists only revealed themselves when the moon was out. Then I’d polish those pages the following morning.
I went from this…
But I’m not that late night writer anymore. I just can’t stay up as late as I used to. I used to function normally on anywhere between 4.5-6 hours of sleep, but now if I don’t get my 7-8 hours, I am exhausted and will find any excuse to take a catnap the next day. I’m not sure what changed (no one say it’s because I grew old! I’m only 25 and won’t be old until I say I’m old!), but I find myself ready for sleep long before midnight these days. It’s actually nearing midnight as I write this, and I already feel like I should have been curled up in bed an hour ago.
I used to be so creative when everyone else around me was asleep. I had bizarre thoughts, revelations, and new story ideas when my only source of light came from the back light on my laptop (Larry the Laptop–for those of you who knew me in college). But now my creativity time block has been invaded by my need to sleep. Is it because I hated sleeping in college (I was like an excitable child not wanting to go to sleep because I didn’t want to miss anything fun) and now that I’m done with school, I’m finally realizing how glorious sleep actually is?
So my question is two-fold. For all you nocturnal, creative people out there–how do YOU stay awake past midnight to write or get work done? (Aside from procrastinating until late at night–I know all about that :D) Are you a late night coffee drinker? Have trouble sleeping?
And for the creative people while the sun is still up–how do you keep yourself from getting distracted and staying focused during the day?