Creativity–Sleep and the Writer


So, this is only my 2nd blog post of a very long month because I haven’t really been creative.  I’ve been stressed, sleep-deprived, challenged, and many other things during this month that are the stuff of nightmares.  Thanksgiving Break was MUCH needed.

I have a clipping from the Times-Freepress (my local newspaper) that talks about creativity and how important sleep is to the equation.  Supposedly, the periodic table came to its inventor in a dream as to did the riff for the song “I Can’t Get (No) Satisfaction.”  In that article, it talks about how the memories consolidate in the brain and allow the brain to make connections that would otherwise be impossible without (enough) sleep.

This month my sleep patterns have changed.  I find myself going to bed extra early sometimes before 8:30 pm and waking up extra early (often as early as 3:30am -4:00 am).  I’ve found that my creativity (for creative writing) was completely lost during this month.  I tried to work on a short-story, but it has not “slotted in” for me.  I have, however, managed to work on the applications for graduate school, but I haven’t really done much of anything else.

The Star Wars Equation

So, I also haven’t really been watching any movies or anything that I would normally do.  I have a pretty sizable bluray collection and I regularly watch a movie at least once a week, but this month I didn’t really do that.  For the first time this month, I grabbed a movie off the shelf (The Empire Strikes Back) and watched it.

Sleep, plus the movie, really made the difference.  I wrote down an idea for a short-story that’s been in my head for a long while and while it may not be the next thing I write, I do know that I WILL write this story (even for no other reason than to get it out of my head and on to paper).

It is like the dam has been broken and I now the ideas feel like they are able to flow freely.  I think the next thing I will write will be a short story, but I think I need to try and spread my wings and attempt longer works.  I also need to be more conscious about my sleep choices, especially on weekends.  The extra rest that I was able to get really helped me get back my creativity.

I will make sure to watch Return of the Jedi next week and probably the original Star Wars the week after (& of course the new Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens the following week after that).  If there is anything that can spur creativity for me, it is the Star Wars movies.  After all, I am a “child of Star Wars” (my most favorite trilogy of movies of all time).