Round 2 Check-in 4/7/19


Ever find yourself being “Happied Out”?  Like you’ve had so much fun doing things you love that you just need to settle down and work on stuff you don’t, because the fun isn’t fun anymore?  That feeling you get when you’ve had a slightly too long vacation?

It can happen in writing too.  That Zone we all hear about, the place where the words just flow and the characters seem to just flow through the air and onto your page without any real effort on your part…  it does exist.  Not that many of us get there regularly.  We’re the Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life, and we know life comes with distractions.  Distractions and the Zone just don’t seem to inhabit the same physical or spiritual plane of existence.

Thing is, we tend to be so very happy when we’re in the Zone.  Things make sense.  They work.  We feel the progress, the creative energy…  we feel powerful.  And we feel like it’s effortless.

Thing is…  when everything is easy, it’s nice for a while, but after a bit…  things lose their wonder; the stories don’t seem as good.  It’s because our brains thrive and develop when we’ve challenging ourselves somewhat.  The stuff we do all the time…  we let go, we give up some of the control and let it all go on automatic…  and we can’t be sure what we’re getting is what we really wanted.

That’s the time our brain is saying “give me something new to do; I need a challenge”.

Fortunately, there are all sorts of ways to challenge yourself as a writer.  You could try a new style or genre.  You could switch point of view.  You could try writing articles or copy, poems or screen plays.  Maybe you could try writing a video game (design, not the code….  though you could try that too).

And what if you’ve never found yourself in the Zone…

Well, here are some posts with ideas to try.  Feel free to pick and choose,  The Zone is a fleeting, personal thing.  Sometimes the path to it changes even…  Don’t be afraid to try and try again.

Have you found yourself in the Zone before?  Have you found yourself in need of a challenge?  Tell us what you’ve learned in your check-in, here or in our FB group.


12 thoughts on “Round 2 Check-in 4/7/19

  1. Honestly?

    I am in the zone very often, and I never get tired of it. Last night, I wrote over 700 words in the laundromat, in about 20 minutes. Good ones, too, that told me something about a main character that I hadn’t known.

    As for challenges – the rest of life offers them in abundance, and I really enjoy having multiple projects going, so there’s always something stretching my brain.

    Distractions? Well, after about a decade of unschooling and writing, I’ve learned not to expect life to come without them – and they often become story fodder themselves, in a kind of lovely cycle.

  2. When I do get a chance to write, I often reach the zone too! And there are so few occasions, so many distractions that I’ve never tried of it either.

    I find lots of challenges in my job so there is that too. I guess my brain rarely gets a chance to be bored. ^^

    1. It sounds like you have enough directions to “change course” toward in life and work that your writing brain has a lot of fodder to work with when you start wordcrafting. Sometimes “Having a Life” is exactly what a writer needs.

      Thanks for commenting and good luck with your creative (and all your other) endeavors.

      1. Thanks Eden!
        I know some people wish to write and only write, often because their day jobs take too much time to write. I do wish I had more time but when I contemplate my professional future, the ideal would be to still teach but maybe part-time (Wed-Sat for instance) while writing on other days.
        For now, I just look forward to when the girls go to school as my day off is Monday (I have Sunday too, but that’s for family obviously).
        So having a life is definitely part of being a writer for me. ^^

        1. Part-time work sounds like a good balance for you. It’s been a while for me, but I remember myself being a lot more prolific when I worked part time too.

          You’re a wise woman, Julie.

  3. I find I move in and out of the zone. Sometimes everything is flowing so well that I can touch an object and have a breakthrough. Other times, I might be fighting to get anything done. I have noticed I get in the zone more frequently when other aspects of my life are better under control like my chores and finances. The more stable my home environment, the more easily I can live in the zone.

    1. That’s a great observation, Raeanne. When we’re unsettled, it’s hard to be in the zone (oh, do I know that). Though some people suggest just sitting down and writing, I certainly can see the value in “sharpening pencils” (or doing the laundry and dishes and taxes). Thanks for sharing your insights.

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