You Can Quote Me On That

Operating outside the standard time schedule...

"I'm a night person who won't be forced into a lifetime of days." 

This is the time of year that I start entering my most creative period and nighttime is when it all happens for me. I am quite content with the heat of desert summer (well...until the very end of August), day and night. As any creative person knows, creativity is like manic depression (therefore many creative people are often manic depressive) and occurs like mood swings. There are cycles of abundant creativity in bursts with extents of time when relatively little happens. I fully recognize that my anxiety and low level depression occur mostly in winter months, even though what we refer to as winter in the desert is nothing like what a person in upstate New York might call it.

This is not a problem at home since I live with someone who works all night and is a day sleeper. Mostly I steer clear of the so-called "regular" world that operates on a daytime weekday schedule. I do my waking and sleeping to suit my own circadian rhythm that is regular to me. Fortunately my "real" job is part-time with varying hours and days so I choose an afternoon-evening schedule. I circumvent a so-called "normal" life and am quite content not living in the 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday world (nor do I operate well in one). I am free of being dependent on one source of income but several that combined, most of the time anyway, is enough for me to live on and obtain the tools and supplies I need to be creative.

I'm aware I am not the only one who lives in a similar way and I tend to think our lives are much healthier and happier for those of us who follow our own natural cadence. Too many people try to force themselves into a pattern against their nature and create stress not only in their lives but in general society. Perhaps one benefit of this economic era of high underemployment and unemployment will cause a lot of people to reevaluate their priorities in scheduling and managing their lives.


  1. I've never thought of the creativity/manic-depression comparison but I think you might be right. I'm not sure creativity really shows up as a mood swing, but it completely feels like it...and it's amazing how often nothing happens. Maybe I fit into the "slacker" group of somewhat creative people but it sure does feel like nothing is going on a lot of the time. But when whatever causes creativity shows itself, it's...I want to say it's like a switch is turned on but sometimes it isn't. Or maybe it is and I don't get the message right away because I can show you a whole lot of stuff that now seems cool to me which I had no idea was cool when I was sitting there with a guitar or tramping through mud with a camera. Maybe I just don't get the process enough to know it. That's fine with me.

    As far as winter goes, I seem unable to assimilate to it very well myself. It's odd because I love snow and have no surface problem with darkness. Winter messes with me though. It's not like all creativity is gone; sometimes cool things show up. But the overriding feeling is that Spring will bring light and more cool stuff. Maybe I should try to embrace the inactivity; frankly it's a bit of a break and I must be nuts to fight it.

    I know this didn't actually respond to your words very well and neglected most of your points. I'm sorry for that unless I'm wrong and it hit on things I can't fathom. Which could be the case. Or not.

    Either way: cool post, JR!

  2. I'm not sure I'd compare creative surges and retreats as mood swings, unless you're prone to them, only in that they tend to mimic them. The switch being turned on is similar to the "up" of a mood swing and for some people the "down" is the flat low feeling of a mood swing. My happen simultaneously and what causes what is an enigma to me and I don't analyze it too much. I just am aware of it and don't let it control me as much as I attempt to recognize what it is and work with it.

    That wouldn't make you a slacker but more a person who has creative moments spontaneously, which I think is also best left not analyzed. I find that people who do analyze their "stuff" end up making it too integrated into their lives, causing what is a natural occurrence to become a sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    I wonder what it is about winter that no matter what climate you live in, lots of people find it a "slow" time of year. I suppose it's the original reason for the "holiday season" starting with winter festivals in centuries and cultures gone by. Spring is more obvious, it signals rebirth, new life, etc.

    And yes...it did respond very well to my words. Thanks for reading and commenting!