I’m not very good at staying up late. It’s a skill I do not possess. Never have.
My first real boyfriend in high school was in the army while we dated. He would call very late at night, after he finished doing whatever they did during the evenings. You’d think a giddy, love-sick teenager would be able to stay up past 11 o’clock with no problem.
No dice for me.
Even in college. Pulling “all-nighters” usually consisted of me falling asleep on my books by 11 o’clock.
I have a thing about 11 o’clock. My body shuts down like it has an off switch.
Sometimes I admire people who can stay up super late or function on three hours of sleep.
But I don’t try to any more.
As a creative person, I feel I need my sleep in order to have my brain firing on all cylinders.
If I don’t get enough sleep, I can’t tap into my creativity. I feel creative burnout take effect if I don’t actively refill my well.
But I sometimes wonder if this is fact or fear.
Is creative burnout worse than the fear of creative burnout?
Should I drive my creative car until the wheels fall off?
Or should I pace myself in order to prevent burnout?
When I first started working for myself, I burned out often. I would work every day from 5 am until 11 pm, crash at night, wake up and do it again. After about 10 days, I’d burn out and not be able to accomplish anything worth mentioning for two to three days.
I felt impotent in my creative prowess.
But, really, was it so bad?
Two to three days off, after 10 days of super creative output. Is that really so bad?
I often wonder if my routine of shutting down at a certain time every day or actively working NOT to burn out is keeping me from reaching my true creative potential?