Sunday, 9 February 2014

Sunday Morning Musing: Night-Time Volts

Now here's an invention we could use! 

Night-time is the best time for creativity. Especially those fuzzy moments just before sleep, when the receptors of the brain are relaxed and ideas seem to flow quickly and easily. 

Did you know that 4am is supposed to be the optimal time for creative thinking? It's when the mind is at its most open and uninhibited. If you've been privy to such wee hours inspiration then you'll know exactly how it is. Like striking gold after digging in a muddy river for weeks, or suddenly turning to Technicolor when all you've had is black and white, from 2D flat words to 3D dynamics. There's a current in those wee hours that is available for us to tap into - a problem-solving, eye-opening, idea-generating volt. Tune into it, either accidentally or deliberately, and the mechanical side of creating vanishes. It's all energy and flow, exclamations and Eurekas!

It's all great when you're riding this flow of ideas, but then there are the times I've been hit by a few zinger lines and too tired to reach for the pen and paper, muttering sleepily, 'it's okay, I'll remember this in the morning...' But of course, I never do. They're fleeting, these night-time lines, and need to be caught immediately on paper or they float off to die a death in some ghost-yard of the mind, never to surface again.

That's why one of these contraptions would come in extremely handy. You never know, they might even invent an App for it yet...

~ Siobhán


  1. I do this ALL THE TIME!!! And I'm always sleepily certain that I'll remember it in the morning, but as you so beautifully put it, the ideas inevitably end up floating off to die a death in some ghostyard of the mind. I keep a notebook and pen by my pillow now, so that I can scratch things out in the dark...I'm getting better at forcing myself to do it, too. It's not as ingenious as the contraption in your illustration, though, I'll admit ;-)

    1. Ha Cheryl I know. I have a notebook and pen by my bed too, but sometimes the sheer physical exertion it causes to use them while in the deep burrows of semi-consciousness is just too much! And when I do manage to scribble ideas down half-asleep - it's a challenge in the morning to decipher my writing ha! Good on you in overcoming it! It's as Seamus Heaney said 'Had I not been awake/I would have missed it. '
      I do believe night-time ideas are the best though. It's like the mind is unravelling itself, untying all the knots of problems as well as creative impasses and coming up with euphoric solutions.

  2. Great illustration Siobhan! Depicts that awful moment of waking in the morning knowing you've forgotten a great idea.Or worse, waking in the morning- having made the great effort and written down the 'great idea' to find its really rubbish!

    1. Thanks Mary. Yes, that's it too alright. Lots of them don't hold up in the cold light of morning...!


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