Thursday, August 13, 2009

Writing, The Rhythm Method

My life has a rhythm to it. There are a few days each month when I am super introspective. There are a few days when I am super organized. There are a few days when I want to reach out and talk with friends. And there are a few days when I want to reach out and strangle my husband. (I always resist!)

This affects my writing. On the days that I want to create, line edits are painful. There is merit to figuring out my creative rhythm. And, I think that finding out about underlying influences is interesting.

Warning to the guys (R, B, M, and whoever else may be lurking out there), the following has to do with understanding hormones--but stick around--it's not just about women. Men have hormonal shifts as well, and times when creativity may be at it's highest point in any given time of day or cycle.

General disclaimer--all the clicks below lead to unsubstantiated internet information, but we all know that everything on the internet is 100% accurate, right? Proceed at your own risk.

It seems that hormonal fluctuations help bring on creative impulses. That when hormones fall, creativity goes up. What if our hormones predispose us to certain work during certain days, or certain hours in each day? What if, by understanding ourselves, we can be more productive?

I hope that the experience of this poor author is atypical. I don't want to lose my creativity just as I finally have more time on my hands! In fact, my college professor, Terry Arendell, postulated that a hormonal shift in women during menopause pushed them to start a new creative life for themselves. (Those women she spoke to actually divorced their husbands in order to do this. She focused on the experience of the husbands in this book).

Women, check out this quiz. Just scroll to the bottom, if you want to get straight to the answers. The answers illustrate how different weeks in the hormonal cycle may lend themselves to different activities.

Okay, guys, tune back in. Here's your cycle. (Ignore the fact that the author of this website believes that only women will read this page.) I find it interesting that external stimuli can so readily affect male hormones.

In fact, it appears that women have it easy, as far as fluctuating hormones go. Check out this post (scroll down to the numbered list, halfway down), which suggests that men have hormonal fluctuations within each hour, each day, each month, and even each season.

Of course, the adrenaline produced by actually having a deadline is another influence on the body, which probably overrides the influence of hormones.

So, does anyone else cycle through creativity?

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