The First Step Toward a Creative Life

While speaking at a conference in Singapore, someone asked me the secret of creative output. “Phil, how do you come up with creative material for writing and speaking – not to mention your normal production work?” I answered him by saying that the single most important question for any creative person to ask is: “What time of day am I most creative?” For me, it’s 6am to noon. When I wake up, the heavenly choir is singing, the birds are chirping, and I feel great.  So I write like mad. Everything is sharp, and I’m in a more productive mood.

But AFTER lunch?

Forget it. I can do phone calls, read, conduct interviews, meetings, etc. But if you need creative work from Phil, morning is the time.

So the question becomes – what’s your creative time?  Midnight? After lunch? Morning? Whatever it is, focus on that time, and build a wall around it. You might have to start by using just part of that time. Early in my career, when I worked for another company full time, I would come into the office at 5am and write until 8am – then go to work.  In fact, I wrote my first two books that way.

If necessary, work around things you can’t change. But START. Find the time your creativity blossoms.  Then build a wall of protection around that schedule.  Never forget – creativity isn’t about random inspiration, it’s about rituals.  Start yours today.

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  1. Funny. My most creative time is at 6 am as well. I get an extra “boost” if I hear the birds chirping as I wake up. I’ve been becoming more cognizant and have started tapping into that creative time. Glad I found your site today! Nothing like a word of confirmation.

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