The Creative Process Doesn’t Require Caffeine

The creative process welcomes sleepy and unmotivated people

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

Caffeine is wonderful. This post is less about caffeine and more about accepting yourself in all your sleepy unmotivated states. Our brains don’t need to go a million miles per hour to get writing done. I have the same writing goals set for myself every day and they get done the same amount whether I’m caffeinated or not. Having the speedy feeling that coffee causes feels real nice. Also, making the perfect cup of coffee is like finding the best friend you’ve always dreamed about. Well, that’s how I feel every time I have a perfect cup. But when it comes to the creative process, coffee isn’t a necessity.

Creative Process Without Coffee?

There are a few ways to think about this let’s start here, according to pastemagazone.com, Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde (1886) came to him in a dream. It says, “The split personality — or, to be more scientifically accurate, disassociative identity disorder — got its most famous fictional account as the result of an 1885 nightmare. As Stevenson’s wife told her husband’s biographer: In the small hours of one morning,[…]I was awakened by cries of horror from Louis. Thinking he had a nightmare, I awakened him. He said angrily: ‘Why did you wake me? I was dreaming a fine bogey tale.’ I had awakened him at the first transformation scene.’ Sick and bedridden, Stevenson wrote and rewrote the story, publishing it as a novella the next year.” Sick and bedridden is no cup of coffee. Over the years, many writers have come up with their book ideas in dreams. Creating books while they sleep not while they are over-functioning. Imagine that. I’m not saying skip the coffee, I’m just saying, coffee isn’t required in the creative process.

Too Tired?

Here’s another way to look at it, when you’re tired you’re less likely to fight a bad idea. This could go either way, the editing isn’t so easy in the sleepy state but story development can move forward in fantastic ways. Kristan Lamb speaks about it in one of her blog posts titled How Being Tired Can Make You a Better Writer. She says,

One of the biggest enemies of great fiction is Conscious Mind.

We have to fight so many other things we have a lot of energy. Social media, cleaning, hydrating, the need to move, and whatever else about being AWAKE makes you step away from your creating. Invite the meh feelings into your creative process so you can have a calm body. Calm bodies feel nice.

Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.
Pablo Picasso

We’re supposed to be

The last thing that’s important to mention is that we are supposed to be tired. We are supposed to allow ourselves days where we are not over alert. I know that society likes us to be 100% whether at work, in public, when we’re hosting something whatever, but that isn’t a requirement for the creative process. The creative process doesn’t need you 100%. The creative process just requires you to show up and believe, that is all.

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