11am Wednesday morning (or, the creative cycle)

My friend and purveyor of fine artisan coffee @theyardcoffee passed on a little pearl of wisdom recently: apparently, studies have shown, that 11am on a Wednesday is the optimum time each week for creativity and general inspiration.

Admittedly a Google search yielded little in the way of evidence to back this up, and the phrase “apparently, studies have shown” does tend to ring alarm bells for me, but he’s not a man prone to random pronouncements.

Let’s just take his assertion as fact.

Creativity according to Douglas Adams (Image: alun - Flickr CC)
Creativity according to Douglas Adams
(Image: alun – Flickr CC)

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) I work for a living, and so 11am on a Wednesday morning tends to be filled with any number of problems which need solving; it’s not a good time to write blog posts, which is a shame.

I feel sure that if I were able to dedicate 11am every Wednesday morning to the business of writing whimsical articles about the infinite detail of riding a bike, ragtimecyclist.com would surely now be inundated with web traffic.

I would undoubtedly be writing pieces of such wisdom, insight, and humour, that the major publishing houses would be knocking down my metaphorical door and begging me to accept their money for my words.

Having said that, I have a feeling I might be the exception that proves the rule. I’m pretty sure that the flow of my creative juices is unrelated to the day of the week; not so much in tune with the Gregorian calendar as with more practical habits.

For example, if I have had plenty of sleep I can all but hear the synapses firing in my brain, and the hardest task is to find a pen and paper (I know, quaint isn’t it?) and jot down the ideas forming in my head before I forget them. As it happens I have two young children who have not allowed me a good night’s sleep in four years (that’s 1,460 nights, maths fans), and so the best is surely yet to come creativity-wise; hang in there readers!

Creativity Graph (Image: lightsoutfilms - Flickr CC)
Creativity Graph
(Image: lightsoutfilms – Flickr CC)

The other pastime guaranteed to bring my brain to life, is cycling. Unfortunately, the work-life-family-blog-ride-wine balance of my life dictates that at any given moment of free time, I can either ride my bike or write about riding my bike. The luxury of going for a ride and then settling down to capture whatever inspiration came gushing forth from my mid-ride mind has, as-yet, eluded me.

Once again, readers, the best is yet to come in this department.

The third of the three main earthly pleasures likely to open the mental floodgates and encourage me to riff for 800 words around a vaguely cycling related topic, is food (those are everyone’s three main earthly pleasures right? Eating, sleeping and riding?).

It’s not so much that I write well on a full stomach, but that I am incapable of performing even the simplest of tasks on an empty stomach. At 11am on a Wednesday morning, whether I’m at work or not, I’m best avoided until at least 12.05 pm – midday being the earliest time I can feasibly justify unwrapping my sandwiches, and 4 minutes later being the moment I finish greedily wolfing them down.

The Rider, by Tim  Krabbe
The Rider, by Tim Krabbe

One of these days I will cancel everything – work, kids, responsibility – and clock up eight or nine hours sleep. Then I will head out for a fifty mile bike ride, having first prepared myself a delicious roast chicken to tuck into on my return. After the sleep, the ride, and the gluttonous meal, I will sit down and surely pen a piece of the finest cycling writing since Tim Krabbe (The Rider – seriously, it’s a great read).

I have a mental image of myself typing feverishly, hanging desperately onto my galloping creativity like a weekend horse rider to a Grand National winner. But if that doesn’t work, I’ll give the Wednesday 11am theory a go.

And if that doesn’t work, it seems that ragtimecyclist.com is currently as good as it’s ever going to get!

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10 comments

  1. First, I love your writing style! I’m not terribly excited by the idea of reading about cycling, personally, but I have a feeling it would be fairly enjoyable if you wrote it! Which should translate into “I’m going to explore your blog for a bit after I post this comment.”

    Second, amusing post about the creative process! I’ll have to start getting up before 11 on Wednesday now to see if it works. Or perhaps I am, in fact, dreaming my most amazing and creative dreams at 11am that day. I need to find that mystical portal that is sure to be open at that time, either way. Thanks for clueing me in!

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    • Thanks for your kind comments, and I hope you enjoy reading more. If I’m honest, often cycling is just the premise I use to write about other stuff so hopefully you’ll find other posts to enjoy. As for the 11am theory? Who knows, maybe it will work for you, or more likely you’re like me and all kinds of other random factors come into it 🙂

      Like

  2. I’m a student and I have a Wednesday 11am class. Not sure what should be so magical about that time though. I frequently will write in the hour break I have before then, though, and I find that’s a creative time for me, so who knows.

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    • I guess the theory is that its long enough into the week that you’re into your flow, but not yet into that tired end of the week feeling? Sounds like 10am might be your creative peak?

      You know what though…it’s all pretty random really. I reckon the trick is to keep your eyes and ears open for inspiration and when it hits you, make the most of it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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