There IS a Best Time to Write! Day 11 of the Total Writer Transformation

in #steemiteducation3 years ago (edited)

Did you know that under certain conditions you're less ethical? How about losing your problem solving skills or appearing stale and unimaginative?

We are well aware that there are preferred times of day to write. For many of us creative types this happens to be at night because our circadian rhythms are "off." It's often mis or undiagnosed and can be frustrating: we can be super tired in the morning, lag all afternoon, have to force ourselves like a zombie through dinnertime but when bedtime finally rolls around we are wide eyed and bursting at the seams with energy!

Everyone has an internal clock known as the circadian rhythm which regulates when we are awake and when we feel tired. People with Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS) have a shifted or longer circadian rhythm. Having a longer than normal circadian rhythm is particularly exasperating time because the body is operating on a 25 hour- or more- day. Each morning you fancy sleeping in a bit later and want to stay up longer at night. Life is moving too fast for your internal clock (and perceived reality) to catch up so you're always running behind.

There is a way to reset your circadian rhythms. I'll touch on that in a moment...

Red eye flights are popular options for business travelers. But research shows red-eyes disrupt your sleep cycle and make you less creative, less attractive, and even less ethical.

If you need to be present and in top form for that business trip consider opting out of red eye flights.

Sleep deprivation has a negative effect on alertness, awareness, problem solving skills, and innovative thinking to name a few. A recent study showed that sleep deprived individuals displayed more rude, unethical and inappropriate responses and even lost their moral compass making them more likely to cheat and steal. The sleep needy are also less likely to recognize these things in others. Basically, the drowsy public allows and indulges in immoral acts because they are not conscious of them. And interesting to note- the more morally conscientious you are, the more you are affected by lack of sleep.

It's not me. It's my circadian rhythm.

This translates into your writing, too. If you write while sleep deprived you run the risk of publishing unethical material you would otherwise never write. The scary part is you do not even realize this!

The best time of day to write is in the morning, after you have had a restful sleep. I admit this seems bizarre to those of us "night owls" who seem to gain energy from the moonrise rather than the sun. But studies prove time and again that the am hours are the writers' creative "sweet spot."

You have a limited reserve of willpower each day. Once it's gone it's gone.

Willpower is a necessary component of writing, primarily during those times when we just don't feel like writing. Since it's depleted with each task we do, it makes perfect sense that the best time to write is first thing in the morning- when we have the most willpower.

Science confirms that creative activity is highest during and immediately after sleep when the prefrontal cortex is most active. Studies comparing morning and night MRI scans note that mornings show more connections in the brain, which is a primary element in the creative process.

So what can we do about this?

Light therapy is the answer.

Getting a decent dose of sunlight in the mornings after waking up is the best way to reset your circadian rhythms. But if this is impossible due to weather or working in an office, then full spectrum lightbulbs are going to be your wake up writing buddy!

But most importantly- get enough sleep!

Todays Challenge

Are you sleep deprived? If so, is it due to late night screenwatching or a tweaked circadian rhythm? Determine the factors then ask yourself what you can do to remedy this so you can be your most outstanding and alert creative self.

Getting to bed earlier, light therapy, and setting a habit of writing each morning to get yourself in the rhythm are all ideas you can implement.

Make a plan.

You want to put your best words forward as a writer. Prime yourself, and your brain, and you will reap the creative rewards!

Images via Pixabay

Be a Better Writer in Just One Month! Join the 31 Day Writing Challenge to transform your writing and your life!

Day 1 The Truth About Making Time For Writing
Day 2 How to Incorporate Ideas From Life in Your Writing
Day 3 Master the Art of Captivating Your Readers
Day 4 Banishing Distractions
Day 5 Get Your Writing Noticed!
Day 6 The Importance of Morning Pages
Day 7 Why You Should Write Even if You're Not a Writer
Day 8 How to Personify an Object
Day 9 How to Use Writing Prompts to Improve Your Skills
Day 10 Why You Need an Email List

I appreciate your support :)

If you find this article after day 7, please consider upvoting a recent article.


I find this article to be very insightful and informative. Going to bed early has always been a struggle for me; it is almost as if I wanted to squeeze more out of those 24 hours and not realizing that I penalize my sleep and my health in the process. But thanks for shredding the light on this issue.

I'm happy to be helpful :)

I am full of sympathy for those who "white knuckle" their tasks, thinking that's how to force their "will power" to kick in. But you nailed it. Will power is not something we manufacture. It's something we cooperate with. As a full-time author/writer, I had to learn this a long time ago. Thanks @arbitrarykitten!

White knuckling is no way to do things!

Thanks for reading :)

I have to admit that I pretty much (and always have) suck as a writer, because other than writing my equivalent of "morning pages" first thing, writing ends up being an "in whatever 5 minutes I can grab here and there" exercise for me. Sometimes a relatively simple Steemit post will end up taking me five hours to complete in tiny chunks, stolen here and there.

Did not know there was such a thing as DSPS; always just used to kid around with people that I come from a different planet with a 25-hour rotation cycle.

Some days are like that for me too, stolen little moments of word weaving as I make my way through my day of chaos!

Did not know there was such a thing as DSPS; always just used to kid around with people that I come from a different planet with a 25-hour rotation cycle. Too funny! And a little ironic, lol!

I've always found my best writing hours, creativity-wise, are between 3 and 5AM after I've been up for ~20ish hours. For some reason when I'm utterly sleep deprived something just makes the words flow!

Thanks for the great read :)

I was just reading about John Lennon not long ago, where he wrote upon awakening from a very short nap after being awake for 20ish hours.

You are in good company ;)

Thanks for the post, while I sleep a lot (I don't think I oversleep,) I don't use much of my "after waking up" energy/willpower... Now I started to realize why I'm a mess in doing things that matters.

Try using your rations on the important things as soon as you wake up, see how it goes for a few days :)

thanks for sharing this @arbitrarykitten :)
when i was still a student, my best time to come up with ideas was upon waking up immediately and i list done everything that comes up on my mind no matter how meaningless those words are and luckily when i checked it later on, there are brilliant ideas that will come up from those words. hehe

Anyway, how are you?

I just wrote about that! I call it Morning Pages

I am wonderful, thank you for asking! How are you?

i'll read it know. thanks for sharing. :)

Have you already recovered Ma'am?
i've been away for awhile because of work that's why there's a lot that i've missed. I'm doing fine, thank you for asking. :)

Meh. Recovery is slow. So slow I almost do not recognize, until I have a setback!

It's good to see you! What do you do for work?

I see but still i'm glad you're doing great. :)

i'm an environmental engineer in a sugar manufacturing plant here in the Philippines.

Nice. That sounds interesting

Thanks. :)

how about you Ma'am?

Hello arbitrarykitten, I really liked this publication, this topic we have discussed a lot in my home, here we are four adults and virtually the conditions of skills and schedules of dreams are affected as indicated. I certainly try in the morning to use the sun's rays to activate myself and I think it really works for me.
The only detail with which I differ in what is published is in the relationship or association you make with ethics, maybe I did not understand your point of view. This is a very deep issue since it could be interpreted in different ways, considering that it is related to what society establishes. Although if there are conditions that affect our ethical actions at some point, this circadian rhythm should not be considered as a reason for it.
Thanks for sharing this post.

Funny thing - I'm reading this after getting a poor night's sleep. LOL!

You are absolutely right - getting into a healthy rhythm of sleep definitely helps with the writing process. If only my muse would stop whispering in my ear after 10pm!

I know, right! I wish there was a pause button for the museum! Then we could continue when the time is best the next day!

Exactly! LOL! If only... 😊

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Hmm, this was very enlightening. So each day I have a limited amount of willpower and it depletes as I use. Must be why lectures in the afternoon are boring. Thanks for this piece.

The afternoon lectures could be boring simply because they're boring :)

Haha! That could also be the case.

thank you so much for the advise i have been one one of people that watch movies all night and spend the whole day feeling weak. thank you so much am improving and i think am now good to go. thank you for an extraordinary post.

That's excellent news!

Wao........this is informative if you ask me
All of my life I have turned out be an addict of the night's synergy

saying to myself that night has brought to those who sleep only dream the cannot keep

the moon has fueled by creativity
bashing my day with weakness and unproriductivity

I love this! I often struggle with sleeping, but it is typically because of my kids, haha. Inoe this season will pass.

I love this! I have struggled with sleep for a lot if my life, and a routine definitely helps but my kids are in a season where they do not. But the season will change and sleep will happen again.

Really great series, I'm gonna have to read all your previous issues as well, because they're so well written!

I'm definitely going to put this into practice.