5. The creative morning lifestyle
This past year I took on a 30-day challenge: To get up freakishly early for 30 days to do The Work. My creative work.
I was getting up 2 to 2.5 hours earlier each day. It was so successful I wrote a 99-cent bookito about it: The Creative Morning Challenge.
I blasted out a bookito in those few weeks plus made serious headway on another.
Afterward I didn’t want it to end. But I also knew I couldn’t continue at that pace, writing for 2 hours before breakfast, before work at the art gallery.
I was the one responsible for getting our teenager to bed at a reasonable time each school night — so going to bed early was not in the cards.
But — getting up only an hour earlier than had been my routine before I began The Creative Morning Challenge was an easy compromise.
So beckoned my transition into the creative morning lifestyle. I could get sufficient sleep — very important to me ever since I left New York City and grew into a mature adult — while still allowing for that creative hour.
(The neo-adult me would skimp on sleep for 2 nights then crash early the 3rd. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. No wonder hair was leaping off my head by 30!)
(Yeah, I know, it’s a genetic thing. Still, it was a no good, very bad routine. So many other pathologies played out of that.)
Then came summer. Our selling season is super intense at the gallery. As soon as it’s over we subside — collapse might be more accurate.
We slash the days a week we’re open.
We shorten our working hours.
We give everyone Euro-style vacations — a month off.
Ann and I and Zane and a bud of his embark on a working vacation lasting between 5 and 6 weeks.
We hop in a camper with a combo garage/bedroom in the back that allows us to transport gobs of artwork to clients and artists while still camping out in cool locales at night.
At this point there’s no need for the creative morning lifestyle because the days are just loose enough that I can accomplish everything in a normal day — creative and gallery work combined.
And finally the new school year arrives — and seemingly so does my amnesia. I struggle to get it all right. My schedule no longer works. Both creative work and gallery work become disjointed.
Until I remember! … That damn creative morning lifestyle that worked so well before.
That was Week 5 of My Year of Micro Experiments. Sliding into the day earlier to crank out an hour of creative work before the hubbub begins.
And my God is it glorious!
My God is it ever refreshing.
It’s as though the planets align, the stars atwinkle, the downloads begin. The material I’d been struggling to push into existence takes an express elevator down from on high — wherever it’s been stored — and comes gushing onto the screen.
My creative output reinvigorates just like that!
Just like last time.
Some micro-experiments are easier than others. They work so well the success whooshes you into a new orbit, a powerful new routine. This was such a case.
Next year I’m calendaring a reminder for summer’s end.
. . . . . . .
If you want to tackle your own Creative Morning Challenge, check out this short and oh-so-cheap bookito. You can go easy, at any speed. It could be as simple as getting up just 15 or 30 minutes earlier.
In The Creative Morning Challenge I detail the 7 Guidelines, how to deal with sleep (cuz I like plenty), how to create fallback options and more.
Plus it’s just plain amusing at times.
And it’s short and to the point.