In the world of photography, the term The Golden Hour refers to a time of day with the best natural lighting to take pictures. I have a theory that when it comes to creativity, everyone has a natural Golden Hour where everything just seems to make sense and fire on all cylinders. Maybe you think it’s at 3 am – I’ve heard that a lot lately. But today, I’m proposing we try a little experiment this next weekend.
As a creative type, I typically watch the sun come over the horizon in the wrong direction before passing out. I understand some of us are playing shows till 2 in the morning and it’s nice to wind down after the show. Fair enough, but on one of these nights that you do not have a gig, show a little respect for the day (and yourself) and go to bed a little earlier than you usually would.
The night before our test, set an alarm for – well, whenever you want to set your alarm. Then I want you to get a breakfast that doesn’t have a ton of sugar in it. (You’d be surprised how hard it is to make this happen) I want you to follow this plan.
On the first day, on every even hour, I want you to sit down and force yourself to turn off your phone, don’t listen to music, don’t watch anything.Just sit and write, if you have kids and this is hard to do, it doesn’t have to be for hours on end. Just write – write damn it! After your session, take a break and don’t think about writing, force yourself to not write.
Make sure that every time you sit down to write that you’re time stamping the column. I would start it in a new paragraph as well. You don’t have to continue a story or a thought from the last writing session, that’s not the point of the experiement you silly goose.
Questions? Concerns? How about this,
What should you be writing? It really doesn’t matter in this experiment. We’re really just trying to find the best time of the day for us.
Make the end of the day earlier than you think it should be. I’m not saying 7pm but make it early.
On the second day of the experiment, start the day the same way. A good breakfast without sugar (you don’t want to crash, baby) and write on every odd hour. It doesn’t have to be for a full hour, just commit to sitting and writing.
Ok, so we’ve done this for two days now and we have a lot of information to cipher through. Honestly, it not hard to see the results though.
Read through what you’ve written, take note of the length of the paragraphs you’ve written but realize that’snot the most important indicator. No, we’re looking for content here. If you notice that, around 8 am you are a deity with writing prose. Start changing your schedule to work around your golden hour. I know it sounds like a big deal and a lot of work. BUT if you want to write songs or freelance, blog, finish that novel or create anything. You should be taking this seriously. A big reason you’re not progressing at the speed you want to be advancing is because you’re not respecting the day. Hemmingway treated writing like a religion. I think that’s so cool! Here’s a quote from Papa,
“When I am working on a book or a story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write. You read what you have written and, as you always stop when you know what is going to happen next, you go on from there. You write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and know what will happen next and you stop and try to live through until the next day when you hit it again. You have started at six in the morning, say, and may go on until noon or be through before that. When you stop you are as empty, and at the same time never empty but filling, as when you have made love to someone you love. Nothing can hurt you, nothing can happen, nothing means anything until the next day when you do it again. It is the wait until the next day that is hard to get through.”
I romanticize him and his approach to writing. I know I do. I know he’s not the greatest, but damn it, I think he is.
For The Love of The Game
There’s another aspect to all of this, it’s something that has come to me very recently. I have a dream of creating for a living. But if I’m not creating, then I’m not living.
Does that make sense? My heart is still beating, but my soul has taken its final breath. We need to show the day some respect.It’s just as important to show yourself the respect you deserve.
I hear so many local artists say that their golden time is at 3 or 4 in the morning. Maybe it is? But I have a feeling that you are just oozing with so much talent, and with that comes natural procrastination and it seems like this is your Golden Hour simply because this is the only time you’ve tried writing. Instead of making it the last thing you do before you go to bed, try it out at the start of the day. Try it in the middle of the day. Try it when you’re not so tired!
You are not a slave to your schedule!
We trick ourselves into believing we are, but this is not true! Don’t believe the lie! Work the system! If you’re working another job, making ends meet through multiple revenue streams, talk with your boss about your schedule! I’ve been lucky to have had jobs with flexible schedules. Maybe you’re not as fortunate, that’s okay! We can still find the time to give our creative souls the nourishment it needs! Stop thinking of it as a way to help your wallet, and switch over with me and make creating about helping your soul!The money won’t come if you don’t love it at first, and you will have a hard time creating if you don’t love it at first.