Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Getting Into the Zone (Writer's Talk)

If you are a writer who has been at the craft for a while, you'll know what I say when I mention getting into the zone. The first time it happened to me, I didn't know the first thing about writing a novel. Imagine my surprise when the words suddenly started flowing across my computer screen without my knowledge of what would happen next. I didn't stop and think about what I "should" or "would" write. The words just popped out one at a time at a rapid speed. That feeling is euphoric. AND, that's where you'll do your best writing. Well, maybe I'm speaking only from my own experience as a pantster (one who writes without a formal outline). I do believe that my lack of knowledge helped me reach this zone. When I try and plot out what should happen in the scene I'm working on, the words are slow to come. My inner editor is turned on stopping my creativity.

No matter how I seek to reach this zone, it only happens when I'm not consciously thinking about it. I once wrote a piece for Chicken Soup for the Soul entitled "Hands of Time." When I wrote this, I was inspired by looking at my hands and realizing they looked like my mother's hands. I started writing. The words flowed from my heart in less than a half-hour. That story has been published in three different Chicken Soup books now, much to my surprise. Nothing else I sent them has been published.

With the past few months of stress and planning behind me, I hope to get back into writing again. My horoscope for today says: "You need to get in touch with the deeper, less accessible parts of your mind, Write down your dreams, pay attention to stray thoughts or look for coincidences to help guide the way." Hmmm, I do believe this is another gentle nudge.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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