3 Rules for Artists To Prevent Insomnia

It’s already after 10 pm on a Saturday night.
If I go to bed in 90 minutes or so, heart pains and maybe even anxiety will be my fate.
Because I broke rule number one today:
Do your art every day.
And I broke rule number two as well:
do 15 minutes of intense physical work-out, such as interval training or sprint training.
And by writing this blog post, I am cutting that back to breaking only rule number two. But I am breaking rule number three:
Never do number 1 or 2 after 8pm.
So even though I ll have a better feeling about today, writing is no ensurance that I ll sleep.
Just that lying awake and suffering will not be for nothing.

Rule number 1 for creative souls: Art comes first

I can already hear my own objections to this:
What if people have regular jobs?
What if they have to choose between art and sleep?
And so on.
I get it.
And those things are totally cool. Look at me: even though I had the entire day to myself, I engaged in so much walks and relaxation (assuming I didn’t need to create today) yet tonight I have the choice between lying awake all hyped up because I wrote at night time; or lying away because my thoughts are forcing me to put them on paper, so that they can develop themselves further around this topic of How To Live Life.
But the idea to put art first goes way further than just preventing insomnia: Not creating art, makes me hate everything.
The last three days, I ve been on the verge of completely shutting down my yoga studio and my career as a yoga teacher. Twice. Both days I didn’t write for this account LS Harteveld.
I did write copy for my yoga studio, but it is astonishing how unfullfilling that is even if I do like writing there.
But I need THIS.
I need to open a blog post, and not having a fucking clue what it will be about.
If it’s about porn and I get a RT from a porn star I get read by hundreds.
And Friday night’s post was read by six people.
And that too, is totally cool.
Because I write for me. My art is a mandatory daily activity in order to function in the normal world. Even on days that I think it’s not a necessity! On my fifty minute walk through the park, I was so caught up thinking about starting track training, and the psychology of that (leaping, sprinting, high jumping) that I thought:
“This is so funny. I usually have to write if I have so much going on in my head. But this development of me thinking about yoga and athletics is so totally unrelated.”
Oh, yeah. Sure. How the hell did I buy into that story?
OF COURSE I had to write about it. Would have served me well if I had realized that immediately. Instead of waiting until after 10 pm thinking:
“Fuck! I m not able to wind down! I need to release my thoughts or I won’t be able to sleep!”
And meanwhile I had almost pulled the plug on my yoga studio, that’s how unhappy I was with my entire life.
–> HATING YOUR LIFE IS WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON’T PUT ART FIRST<–
And this has huge implications!
Because I don’t know about you, but my blog posts can take up to four hours to write. You can’t squeeze that in before your 9AM appointment.
yet my advice is still to practice your art daily, simply to avoid starting to hate your day job. Not practicing your art will have you projecting your feelings of dissatisfaction onto your job, your kids, or even onto art itself.
Take care of your art.
Regardless of how many things you have to cancel, or drop out of, in order to make that happen: the ramifications of not doing it, are far worse.
Knowing you did your art will make you sleep like a baby.

Rule number 2 for creative souls: Exercise

I just shared a bit about my current obsession with track training.
Sprint.
Leap.
And aim high.
I m already at the point where I believe that how you exercise is how you live.
Or how you think you should live.
I roughly estimate that half of adults either do no exercise or walk or cycle:
their routine is a direct extension of their life, which is calm or even stagnated, in the case of not exercising.
Then there’s a large group who play games!
Read: like groups and competition.
But the largest group do common sports like: distance running, cycling, cardio, fitness, classes at the gym, interval training.
All forms of working out that train your endurance, and ability to deal with chronic stress and often create circumstances where you can go into some state of trance.
But the percentage of people who do sports where you can just feeeeel the  excitement, is extremely small:
Surfing.
Fencing.
Boxing.
Dancing.
Maybe it’s me, but I m guessing that as an artist you will feel way more inspired to pick up one of those up, than repetitive, predictable sports.
And there is a reason for this too!
Because you know what?
The reason you are even prone to insomnia in the first place, is because everything about being an artist is unpredictable and disruptive. That is the very nature of creative energy: you are leaving the ground, lifting off, trusting that one hour, or four, or one day from now, you’ll land safely.
But you’re not sure.
Your whole life could change during the time you’re creating your painting, writing your blog posts, designing your choreography or whatever you do.
You could come out an entirely different person, and yet that’s the thing you put yourself through every day.
So most of all, you need to do sports that totally occupies you, fascinates you, and that inspires you.
But that’s not what I said right?
I defined it as doing something to get your heart rate up for fifteen minutes.
The reason I put emphasis on that, is that when you create your art, you are letting creative energy, Life, flow through you.
That is MASSIVE.
And you do it with your awareness in your work. Or some other astral plane.
I ve often joked, that my computer sucks my soul in it, when I m writing. And holds it hostage until after I hit publish.
My body needs to go without my soul for however long it takes for me to finish the post.
And even if I do manage to create an experience that is not zombiefying, I still notice the fast, shallow breathing; the higher heart rate.
Your body is going through hell having to channel all that creative energy!
You will want that body trained, and being able to deal with pressure and stress. So even if your sport of choice would be yoga (to name just one!) I would urge you to throw in something intense as well, that will keep you strong and push your limits.
And of course physical exercise is the number one remedy to avoid insomnia.

3. Don’t do 1 or 2 after 8 pm

But you already knew that one right?

It’s midnight now…

So I guess there is a fourth rule.

4. If it’s after 8 pm, improvise and hope for the best.

LEAP Baby

Are you joining me, on this track?
Like I said, I intend to write every day because of rule number 1.
The Follow button is somewhere on this page.
Have you found it?
You can buy my erotica and diaries at my new improved shop (English books, might have to scroll down)

<3LSH
An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

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These are my English titles:
Dutch American Diary 2008-2009  €15
LS Diary 2012-2013                                € 10
Bedtime Stories 2014                            €15
Mirage 2014                                               €5
Big, diaries and erotica 2015-2016 € 20
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Select your store f.e. Nederland or United States
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De volgende Nederlandse boeken
zijn ook op voorraad bij boekhandel de Feeks in Nijmegen
verzending gratis v.a. € 17,50

Het Boek Benjamin           € 45
verzameld werk NL en Engels.
Het enige boek dat hier niet inzit is Witte Tijgerin, dus mijn andere Nederlandse boeken zitten hier wél in.

Mango                                 €15
coming of age novelle

22 erotische verhalen   € 15
literaire pornografie in de geest van Anais Nin

Witte Tijgerin                  €5
gids voor solitaire vrouwen die een geweldig seksleven willen en plenty energie

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