Creatively Thinking: My creative brain has the worst timing

My creative brain awakens at the most inopportune times. It’s asleep when I need it to be awake and awake when I need it to be asleep, so I can sleep. It’s like a newborn baby.

Recently it went to sleep for a while and I was struggling with the sequel to ‘A Story to Tell’ but then, this week, it woke up, which would have been more exciting if it had happened during the day, when the children were otherwise occupied, but no, it woke up at midnight and nudged me at 1 a.m. and then again at 9:20 a.m., when the children were actually still asleep, but needed to be awake.Ó’

On Sunday afternoon, my husband was napping, my son and daughter were up in my son’s room and I was alone with time to write. Do you think anything would come to my mind for the new book then? Of course not! Because it wasn’t 1 a.m. and I wasn’t trying to sleep. I don’t know if any of you out there are writers, (well, I know many of you are at least bloggers, so you are) but writers know we can’t hush the Creative Brain at any point it awakens either. Much like the unwritten rule, “Never move a sleeping cat. Even if you can’t feel your legs anymore.” is the rule, “Never hush the muse once she begins to speak or she will NEVER speak to you again!”

I can’t move when the muse is speaking. I must simply write, even if my eyes are falling closed with exhaustion because if I move, the muse will fly away and Blanche won’t tell me the rest of her story and she’ll never return and I’ll never finish the book and I’ll be a failure! A failure, I tell you!

That’s probably not true, but my brain thinks it will happen that way because I have a vivid imagination. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to write fiction, right?

So how about you? Whether you’re writing blog posts, fiction or non-fiction or even technical manuals, when does your Creative Brain wake up? Is it the worst time possible like me? Let me know in the comments!

Lisa R. Howeler is a writer and photographer from the “boondocks” who writes a little bit about a lot of things on her blog Boondock Ramblings. She’s published a fiction novel ‘A Story to Tell’ on Kindle and also provides stock images for bloggers and others at and

14 thoughts on “Creatively Thinking: My creative brain has the worst timing

  1. Pingback: Creatively Thinking: What to do when you hit a wall in your novel writing – Boondock Ramblings

  2. Pingback: Looking back at October ahead to November, reading and otherwise – Boondock Ramblings

  3. Okay this is def gonna fall into the category of TMI, but it’s on topic and in the spirit of sharing your sense of humor, here goes: used to be, my prime right brain ideas typically came to me in the shower. Then, they started popping up while I was brushing my teeth. Recently, yes, you guessed it: it’s something else I might be doing while in the bathroom. I mean, seriously? But yes there it is. I don’t know why. Sure, I often get inspired when I’m out walking, but that’s not nearly as hilarious.


  4. I was in the middle of graduate school, so I had plenty of other interesting and challenging stuff to do, but my subconscious mind rebelled, took a sword and pike out of the thatch and demanded equal time for pure creativity. That was early in 2009, and at the beginning of 2012, the last plot hole zipped itself closed in my first novel.

    I had decided when I was five or six years old that I wanted to “write books” when I grew up, but it took almost 50 years for me to get around to it; however, I’m glad it did. I had to live a lot of life before I had a story to tell and the confidence to do it, which meant my following the Muse in charge of that story whenever and wherever she (and her sister Muses) chose to lead me.

    This meant that most of the creative writing took place between 10 PM and 2 AM. I did not start at the beginning of Chapter One and proceed chronologically, but wrote whatever I felt like writing: beginnings, middles, and ends of scenes, all over the book. During the day, novel-writing time was occupied with research and continual revision of earlier material. As a result, I never suffered from “writer’s block,” and what turned into a minor-epic-length piece of literary fiction was the most enjoyable project of my life.

    (BTW, I finished grad school in 2010 with a 3.912 GPA, and having let my mind relax with non-technical writing therapeutically contributed to that being a reasonably stress-free experience, too.)


      • When I wrote my first novel, I’d never heard of organic writing (or pantsers), but afterwards, when I began blogging, I discovered that’s what I’d done. I think the spontaneity of non-chronological creative writing is of great benefit to the writing process and the writer.

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        • I know it is for me and I tune out those who say it isn’t the way to go. We are all different but I love finding out where I am going as I write. It’s like I can’t wait to sit down and write because I want to know where the story is going too. It is almost like a movie in my head at times and the story unravels as I write and becomes a big picture. Of course, that doesn’t mean that I don’t do a little planning or make notes like “this scene here .. this scene there …” and then go back and fill it in later.

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  5. Oh yes, that happens to me also! Just when I feel myself getting drowsy and finally ready to fall asleep, then a thought will come, and I am wide awake thinking how all the words will come together. Or, like you, I wake up in the wee hours and just know that I need to write it all out then. Maybe my heart is soft enough to hear then? hmm…. thoughts to ponder!

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    • For me, I do think that’s when things are quiet and my brain can really work things out and think about it all and what I want to write next. But I am tired from it all 😉 I guess it’s worth it, as long as I’m having fun!

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  6. Oh, absolutely! Inspiration has a bad habit of striking when I’m desperately trying to fall asleep or when I have my hands full with the kids and there is nothing to write on or with in sight. And yet, when they’re occupied or asleep, like right now during nap/quiet time, I’m staring blankly at my screen.

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