Intermission, Part 2

It’s funny how differently my brain works dealing with technical work versus creative. I work well with deadlines and time constraints when doing my day job as a software developer. I get stressed sometimes, sure, but I operate better with those limits in place.

Creativity is fundamentally different. When I have a lot going on in a day, my brain feels more ‘full’. Less room to bounce ideas around, leading to less ability to be creative. It can be frustrating.

I try to remind myself this is part of the normal ebb and flow. That every one of my favorite authors has had the exact pattern. Some days are easy, some days you struggle to get a single sentence out. It’s just how brains work. It’s not like every day of software development is equally productive, either.

There’s a “zone” people get into sometimes, myself included, where everything just flows. I’ve heard it described in any number of different fields and I’ve experienced it myself, both in work and play. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could trigger that at will? If every moment of our life could be as productive as we wanted it to be?

I wonder if our brains could sustain that. Maybe there’s a biological reason to the cycle. A sort of wake and sleep system for different parts of our minds that keep them operating correctly. Instead of wishing for a permanent flow, perhaps it would be better to wish for a definitive understanding of that system. A schedule that we could plan our activities around, just as we do our sleep.

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