“With the power of pen and a good cup of tea, you can write history!”
It took me a full mug of tea to come up with this quote. Gradually I have come to accept that it is indeed a palpable physiological requirement of a creative mind to be constantly fed with motivation…via the gut! Whether staining ink on paper or straining fingers on keyboard, writers will always keep one hand free to grab their cup of motivation. My steaming motivational mug, either empty or half full or brimming, is of tea. Yes, Tea it is; and not even an apocalypse can come between my tea and me.
Writing needs copious amount of creativity and concentration. A beverage that can give the much-required nudge is always welcome. And what better than tea can give that luxuriant punch. For some, it is coffee but coffee comes with an overload of caffeine. Brewed tea has 4 times lesser caffeine than coffee making it a much safer stimulant to rely on.
Chemically, caffeine is similar looking to, but an antidote to Adenosine, the sleepy hormone. Adenosine binds to its receptors and causes drowsiness and caffeine essentially exploits its structural similarity with adenosine and blocks its activity. So it basically confuses the neurons and prevents drowsiness. Alert and awake, isn’t that how you feel after hoisting down a cup of tea?
Tea not only keeps you alert and awake but it also relaxes you. While excessive caffeine through coffee can give you periods of jitters, tea with its controlled caffeine concentration and a welcoming burst of antioxidants, prevents mess-ups and erratic changes in focus and concentration. Unlike coffee, tea doesn’t give a rush. Its effect is more sustained and for a longer period of time. And isn’t that exactly what a writer wants?
Alpha wave to make you crave
Did you know that even if you are not asleep, just shutting your eyelids can change the entire pattern of brain activity? Alpha brain-waves or neural oscillations are rhythmic patterns of electrical neural activity in the brain which originate in states of wakeful relaxation, poise and calmness. These alpha waves are known to be triggered and enhanced by an amino-acid L-theanine which is found abundantly in tea leaves. (And that is how tea gets its botanical name Thea sinensis!) Tea thereby, owing to its bounteous theanine content, offers that relaxing and calming effect much needed by writers for processing and translating thoughts onto paper. So next time you see a writer on his couch, with his eyes shut and fingers clutching to a mug of tea, you know that most stunning piece of art is about to be penned down!
If you are a tea lover, you have just picked earth’s most diverse beverage for your taste buds! You name the flavour and you have it. The beauty of tea is in its subtlety and the ease with which any flavour can be infused along. You will be surprised to know that writers change their preference for flavors depending upon the time of the day, essence of their write-ups, seasons and mood. A close friend who writes travel and food blogs kept me intrigued for the longest time about this amazing collection of flavored tea bags decorated on his desk. “I need my strong black oolong for the rainy days documenting anthologies of global African movements and perhaps just a simple masala cutting chai on a midnight-highway-drive to gather my thoughts” he said, finally quenching my curiosity, as he sipped away his wild berry-hibiscus tea blogging about ancient kitchen hacks for contemporary cooking!
The stimulation and alertness tea offers is a bonus that no writer would want to refuse. But every good thing comes with a disclaimer. Tea, like any other caffeinated beverage can be a victim to addiction. And caffeine addiction can be deliciously convenient to happen! A cup or two daily does no harm but habitual frequent tea consumption can turn the tables for the writers. Which is why we often see creative people hanging around with habits like smoking and excessive caffeine consumption to keep their cortex hyper-activated and drown away professional downfalls which comes naturally with any creative profession.
The rescue ‘tea’m!
Writers have a tough time balancing the flow of creative juices with professional churning. Pressure to create and lack of sleep are writers’ biggest nightmare! And as hard as they may try, this can be mentally crippling. For this reason, the collection of infusions in their cabinet for that critical submission deadline or a short trip to the tea stall down the street to drive away the blues of a rejected verse, tea is always to rescue. Haters can burn, but the truth prevails that nothing on this planet can un-fog the right cerebrum as impeccably as a refreshing cup of tea can!
That, it is hard to get a beverage as stimulating as tea, stays irrefutable. As an aspiring writer, hours of stagnancy makes me often swivel with hunger pangs. Especially later afternoons and evenings drag painfully long without something to munch on; and tea is my batman. Tried and tested, it is an excellent substitute for all those unwanted junk my body wants to gobble down. And a handful of blueberries and almonds to go with tea, can keep a writer’s focus and memory in place. As I sip on my cup of nectar and close my eyes, the double dose of alpha waves prepares me for my next blog.
Are you already mo’tea’vated enough? If not, pour in your precious infusion and say cheers to a writer’s elixir of creative immortality!