Poetry and Periods

Poetry and Periods

Why is writing sometimes so hard? Why does it feel impossible to get your pen down on paper one day and then feel so easy the next?

If you're someone who experiences a monthly cycle and is also a creative writer, you've likely experienced your motivation to write fluctuate drastically throughout the month. You can't figure out why you can't just "post a poem every day" like all the other Instagram poets. (side note: they are probably not either just fyi). Everyone is telling you the best way to get your work out there is to be consistent, be consistent, be consistent! You're doing great for a week or two and boom, all motivation goes out the window.

I've been there. And pushing and pushing past this resistance doesn't always result in your best work.

The truth is, each phase of our cycle is a window into a different part of the creative process. Understanding when to approach certain creative "tasks" throughout the cycle can greatly improve your chances of feeling successful. You don't need to write a poem a day for 28 days, upload a reel every day, respond to your DM's instantly etc. Working with your body, instead of against it is much more effective.

Let me show you how.


What is the follicular phase of your cycle?

The follicular phase begins on day one of your cycle (the first day of menstrual bleeding) and ends with ovulation around 14 days later. This is the time when your body prepares for ovulation by producing estrogen (the female sex hormone) and progesterone (a hormone made by your adrenal glands).

During this phase, you're likely to feel full of energy and ready to take risks. You might also be feeling logical, rational and focused. Confidence comes easily in this phase.

How to achieve your creative writing goals during the follicular phase.

  • this is the time to start the new project you've been thinking about because your aversion to risk will be lower

  • idea: try arranging ten of your poems into a mini collection to see what fits

  • strategic planning/rational tasks like: scheduling content for websites or newsletters; updating websites; sending out newsletters etc.

    • this phase is especially important for preparing for the second half of the cycle. the scheduler on Instagram is your best friend. plan a few posts for the last two weeks of your cycle and schedule them ahead of time in this phase.

  • make a six-month plan for your creative goals this year. take inventory of what's working, and what isn't.

  • dig into your Instagram/social analytics

What is the ovulatory phase of your cycle?

This part of of your cycle usually happens around day 14 and as estrogen peaks, an egg is released from the ovary.

The ovulatory phase of your cycle is when you're most likely to feel empathetic and inclined to be social. You'll want to be around people and connect on a deeper level.

How to achieve your creative writing goals during the follicular phase.

  • attend a poetry workshop or class to interact with other writers

  • consider joining your favourite poet's Patreon

  • host your Instagram lives during this phase

  • record your reels, especially if you're talking/engaging in them

  • meet up with writing pals and discuss your current projects

  • this is the phase you will have the most energy to connect with your audience via comments, DM's, workshops, etc. take advantage of it!

What is the luteal phase of your cycle?

The luteal phase is the second half of your cycle. It starts after ovulation and ends before your next period begins.

You may notice that in this phase, your creativity will come most easily to you--and that's because it's when estrogen is relatively high and progesterone is low. This combination leads to an increased feeling of calmness and well-being (not unlike how we feel after having sex). Your body will also feel less stressed out than it did during other parts of your cycle.

How to achieve your creative writing goals during the luteal phase.

  • this is the time to get cozy and write, write, write!

  • go back to old poems and see if you can rework them

  • buy a poetry book from a new poet and try to mimic their style with a few of your own poems

  • use a Yoga Nidra or NSDR script to bring you into full relaxation before writing

  • this is the time to create your "content" for social media. scheduling this ahead of time in the follicular phase (above) is the key to creating consistency without burnout


A little side note

There are no perfect times in the month to do any of these things. Sometimes you'll feel it, sometimes you won't. Listening to your body is the main goal.

However, if you're ever curious why you can't just "write every day" like all the other poets on Instagram, I hope this has given you some insight into why. People who have cycles operate on a 28 day flow cycle. Leaning into the ups and downs is a beautiful thing.



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