Wednesday, February 16, 2011

circadian rhythms

Can you feel the rhythm of the night? Does your mind shift from a hum of activity to a state of suspended animation? Do you ever have the sense that your being is in the grip of some spin-off of seasonal affective disorder? If so, you're not alone. The winter months can be particularly brutal, particularly if you live in an area where cold and snow predominate. When darkness falls early, it can be a signal to begin shutting down and burrowing in for the night. Of course, this isn't necessarily an effective time for writers or other creative types. Our circadian rhythms are roughly 24 hour cycles that are influenced by shifts from light to darkness. Darkness stimulates our brains to release melatonin, which moves us in the direction of sleep.

So, when do you write? During the day? Before work (it can be dark then, too). After work, rushing to get those words down on paper before the cover of night? Or do you change your inner environment (e.g., caffeine) or adjust your external world (e.g,. artificial light) in order to awaken the Muse and stimulate your fingers on the keyboard or pen on the pad? Or do you rely more on weekend hours and the greater availability of daylight?

Spring is 32 days away. The days are getting a wee bit longer. We should all expect to see a boost in creativity as a result. In the meantime, many people have deadlines or personal goals for which they're shooting. Winter can be tough sledding! If you have found this to be the case, give yourself a break. It's hard to argue with biology.

Creatively yours!