The Magic Hour and Creative Cycles
I’m writing this at one in the morning. I just woke up and felt wide awake for some reason. I’ve read that our bodies tend to do this naturally-sleep for a few hours at night, and then wake up for what is traditionally revered as the most creative time of day, when the mind is calm and clear. The existence of this phenomenon used to be common knowledge, and many tribal cultures around the world still allow themselves to get up in the middle of the night for an hour of quiet reflection.
I don’t have to be anywhere in the morning, so I’m not stressing about getting up at any certain time. In fact, I’ve deliberately left my mornings free by seeking a part-time afternoon/evening job. Mornings are my most productive time of day, when I have the most energy. I like to wake up early and journal, work on writing projects, exercise and do my errands.
Our bodies have natural rhythms, and everyone’s body is different. Those rhythms are there for a reason, not to just be annoying when you have a 7AM class or the early shift. Sometimes it’s not always possible, but I find that my creativity flows best when I understand and respect my own rhythm. I’m a morning person, so I found a supplementary job that leaves my mornings open for creative work. I make sure to get to bed at a decent hour every night so I can wake up early and make the most of my mornings, and so I can allow this “magic hour” to happen if it decides to visit me.
I don’t feel like busting out the paint right now, so I think I’m going to sit and think or write for the rest of this time. When I start feeling tired again, I’ll return to bed and let myself wake up naturally. I’m glad I planned my schedule the way I did so things like this can be possible.
I encourage you to observe your body and mind and find out what your creative rhythms are. You probably already have a good idea, because I’m sure you know whether you’re a morning lark or a night owl. Just notice how you think and feel at certain times of day, and do what you can to take advantage of your productive times.
See you in the morning.