Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Mr. Sandman

What does sleep have to do with creativity?

I can think of a lot of times in my life where lack of sleep has accompanied my creative process. It's the night before a show and the set isn't finished. Or perhaps you're completely inspired and just don't want to sleep until you're done. In these instances, creation can happen in spite of being tired. But, I would argue, it doesn't happen because you're tired. (Though I do have to say that being tired can sometimes take the edge off a stressful situation, as you just don't quite have the energy to care.)

But there is another side to this coin. How many times have you done less than your best work because you were exhausted? How many times have you sat looking for inspiration and stared at a blank, blank, blank wall with dead-tired eyes? Can making sure you get enough sleep serve your art?

I have to say that I resisted even considering this issue. I thought, man, if I'm thinking about getting enough sleep, I'm lame - I'm old! But now I've shifted my perspective. I know that taking care of myself is taking care of the most valuable resource a creative person has. Actors know this, and that's why they have the well-earned reputation of being self-obsessed.

Don't get me wrong, I am not encouraging self-absorption. What I am suggesting is that by attending to your own needs, especially the basic ones of eating and sleeping, you are caring for the most valuable asset you have in your creativity bank - your self. And on that note, good night :)

1 comment:

chest of drawers said...

thankyou jamie for your wonderful comments!!!! you are the first to write me anything and I´m very excited!!!
I love your website, VERY MOTIVATING! I have managed to get out of my rut and realised, with your help aswell...that it´s a matter of priorities and I waste too much time on things that don´t give me pleasure. my blog now gives me great pleasure!
thanks again, claudia.