A few months ago I joined a webinar for writers.  As expected, I got a little out of some sessions, more out of others and a great deal from some.

One new idea I heard was about how to get the most out of your brain.

A lot of participants had said that it was important to write at the time of day your brain is most active, and that depends on your personality.  I usually work best in the late afternoon and again sometimes late at night.  I am not good early in the morning.  I wake up gradually.

One speaker added something just for people like me.  Some people are wide awake as soon as they open their eyes.  I am one who wakes up in stages.  The speaker said that research has shown that the creative part of my brain will wake up first, the analytical part last.

So what?

When you try to solve a problem or look for a new idea, you can find your analytical mind jumping in too soon.  You overthink things.  You dismiss an idea because you can’t see how it would work.  In that half-awake state, the creative ideas get the space they need to establish themselves before the analysis begins.  Of course, you need to do the analytical stuff and chuck out all your really stupid ideas, as well as working out the details to make the good ones workable.  Later.

I made a note of this during the webinar and thought I had forgotten it. This week it came back to me, because I have been trying to think how to improve Highwaypersons II: The King’s Justice, which I am working on.   It did not seem to flow, although I was happy with all the different elements, more or less.  On two mornings, when I was half-asleep, I got ideas that were a big help.  Change the order of certain sections, and involve one of the characters in a part of the story he was not originally involved in.  I am now working through the details.  I think you will find it a much better book for this.

I will remember to make more use of my slow starts in the mornings.

When do you do your thinking?