Write & early: when are we most creative?

Lily Holbrook describes how inspiration strikes differently at different times of day

Lily Holbrook
24th November 2020
Being someone who can appreciate both the creativity of morning and night, I’ve found that the way I express myself creatively very much depends on the time of day...


As I write this, it is night time. When it comes to being creative, there’s something undeniably magical about the night. Maybe it’s the fairy lights, musical escapism and sense of connection with yourself that can’t quite be achieved in the day. It’s almost like the night holds a special power, which unlocks something within us that lets our creative spirit run free. Maybe it’s the thought that we’re meant to be asleep; but instead, the night becomes a waking dream and one in which true creativity can flourish. 

I’m not a person that can create masterpieces. While I enjoy it for fun, I’ve never created breathtaking pieces of art or music. Yet after a lockdown guitar purchase saw me muddling my way through basic chords, I realised that my experimentation always gravitated towards the night. 

The one artistic thing I do a lot of is writing. From thoughts and ideas spiralling around in many scribbles across the page to more personal pieces, writing is a form of escape.

In the true spirit of creativity, the first draft of this article was written on the cream pages of a notebook. There’s nothing a white screen can do to replace the beauty and creativity of a good pen on good quality paper. It’s something that can all too often get lost, robbing us of the essence of our creativity. 

Possibly the greatest thing about night-time creativity is dreaming. Whether it’s reflecting on our day or imagining different lives as we drift into unconsciousness, the enigma of dreams is a source of endless fascination.

What could be more creative than the stories we construct ourselves?


Despite my love of the night, there’s creativity to be found in the morning too. Writing this in the morning, it’s evident that creativity can come in many forms and extends beyond the activities we first associate with art. I find that the earlier I wake up, the more creative I feel in the window before the day really starts. Maybe because it still feels like night? 

With the whole day ahead of us, the morning gives us a blank slate. Writing down memorable dreams, taking 5 minutes to be in the moment and starting the day with a book are a few ways I take notice of new ideas and thoughts. 

It may not be as naturally creative as drawing or writing, but I also love early walks. Exercise isn’t typically seen as creative, but it gives us the space to daydream. Taking carefully crafted photos, listening to podcasts and immersing ourselves in music are all great ways to check in with the world while also getting lost in our own. 

All the things I’ve talked about are forms of creativity, each of which is equally important in appreciating the different parts of ourselves. If you find yourself stuck in a creative rut, switch up your routine and do something unexpected. Creativity can come at the most unexpected of times.

Featured Image: Lily Holbrook

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AUTHOR: Lily Holbrook
MA Media & Journalism student and science sub-editor for the 20/21 academic year.

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