Achieving Flow State

Alright, now that you have some consistency in writing and you’ve picked your pace and stuck to it, now you want to take it to the next level. You want to get in the zone and stay there for as long as possible.

You envision yourself (as all us writers do) writing for hours on end without stopping and creating the greatest things since french fries, sliced bread, and Shakespeare.

Sadly, however, that’s not how writing works.

Sure, you can achieve a state like that every ONCE in a while. I have. One time, I wrote for nearly eleven hours straight (a few breaks in between) starting at 9am and ending at sometime between 10 and 11pm. I finished up my novel in that time and it felt amazing.

Lately I’ve been thinking about how to achieve a state like that again (without a six pack of beer) and I’ve been drawing a blank.

So, to help you achieve something like a flow state, I’m going to give you a few steps on how to maintain consistency once you get it.

  1. Stick to your pace- sure, things may happen in life that force you to change your plans, but there need to be things that serve as anchors. Things that won’t rock no matter how much the boat sways. Your writing pace is one of them, stick to the pace you’ve set out for yourself, be patient, and you’ll find you get your work done faster if you simply stick to your pace, whether fast or slow.
  2. Take your time- there’s really no point in writing so fast that you start to mess up basic words and bring rise to the impulse to fix them right away. Your thoughts are going to be racing when you’re writing, especially when it comes to a part you like. You have to learn how to rein your mind in and command it to go at a slower pace you can keep up with, take control and tell that thing to slow the fuck down so you can get the story straight!
  3. Write a reasonable amount- three to five pages a day of writing is an amount anybody can do no matter how strapped they are for time. You don’t have to write these crazy amounts of pages to get things done. Writers are people and have lives outside of writing, therefore, they don’t spend all their time writing. The same with reading. If you read for thirty minutes or an hour every day, it can be rewarding.
  4. Relax- you’re not on deadline unless you put yourself on one (or you have an agent). Take the pressure off yourself to become a bestseller as fast as possible. Overnight successes take years to occur, that’s what no one tells you.
  5. Study the craft- as much as I would love to say just reading a bunch of the genre you want to write and writing it will be enough. it isn’t. You’re going to need to study the art of writing and how to do it better. Take online courses, go to writing conferences, find a mentor to help you with your mistakes, learn how to edit, learn the common mistakes and how to fix them. If you do this, you will progress that much faster and you’ll be closer to that bestseller.

Hopefully that was a little bit more in-depth on how to maintain consistency and start making real progress. As usual, that’s my spiel on the subject.

Til next week. . .

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One thought on “Achieving Flow State

  1. Thanks for the advice, man!
    Writing every day is an absolute necessity if you’re going to be a professional writer, I think. I only get four to five pages when I’m on a really good roll, so that’s impressive! My average is 1, 200 words a day. That’s a good pace for me. Remembering to relax is very important, I agree. Writing should be a joy, a zen thing. Stressing out will kill your fun and squash your passion in a hurry.

    Nice to hear you’ve finished a novel too! I wrote my first novel as of this year. One more draft and I’m sending it out (fingers crossed).

    Like

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