It’s my favourite place and I love it here. Yes, I am currently well and truly trapped in the writing zone. For anyone who is not sure what I mean by this, imagine being given full access to the thing you love doing the most. Imagine that thing giving you pure, unadulterated joy. Imagine that thing going really, really well and filling you with feelings of satisfaction and excitement. That is how I would describe the writing zone.
Of course, I’m a writer and I write every day if I can. Sometimes life gets in the way and it doesn’t happen. Sometimes I am trapped in the editing zone for what feels like years…This is not so bad. I actually love editing and revising my books. To me, this process is really interesting, as you begin to shape and mould your first splurge of words into something that others can hopefully one day appreciate.
But I have to admit that writing the first draft of a new book is the most fun thing ever, and perhaps the most addictive. If it is going well, and I am well and truly ‘in the zone’, then the book is all I can think about. Here are some signs that I am in the writing zone, with no sign of emerging any time yet…
- when I am not writing, I am thinking about writing. The book in progress dominates my every waking thought. It follows me around like a daydream I can’t escape from. If I go for a walk, the book is in my head. If I go to bed, there it is again. There is no escaping it and I wouldn’t want to.
- when I am writing, I’m writing fast. Super fast. It’s been there all day teasing me and making suggestions, so when I finally get at that keyboard, it’s a bit like an explosion. Certainly, it’s messy and there will be plenty to clear up later in further drafts, but right now, speed is everything. I need to get that story out of my head!
- when in the zone, time does not exist. I don’t even think to look at the time. It’s just not relevant. I will keep going until I feel there is a good place to stop and leave it for tomorrow.
- I am happy. Really happy. This new book has probably been in my head for years and the book is happy to be getting its turn and the characters are really, really happy to be having their voices heard, and so I am happy too. It gives me an enormous sense of satisfaction and relief to be finally writing a book that has had to wait so long.
- I’m excited. I kind of hate the start of the day, because normally writing has to wait until the evening. So I feel guilty, but can’t help wishing the day away so that I can get to the end of it and start my writing.
- the writing is my reward. I can’t allow myself to have this reward until everything else is done. So, the day-jobs, the children, the pets, the husband, the house, the errands all need to be sorted out, before I can allow myself this wonderful indulgence. This is a great motivator because there is no way I am not getting my writing time!
- I am distracted. There is a running joke in my house that I react to things a few minutes after I’ve heard them…and this is probably true. I’m so distracted by the writing zone, that it’s hard to focus on anything else. I get really forgetful in this state and my family certainly notice it.
- I feel like myself. I think when I am sucked into the zone, I am more ‘me’ than I am at any other time. Which sort of means, I am multiple ‘me’s’ ? Slightly worrying perhaps, but I think more than anything, writing and loving writing are what make me me. It is the love that has been with me the longest and saved me the most times and provided me with so much it’s impossible to even try to explain.
So, that’s me, ‘in the zone’. I’m working on two new books, (one is the first in a four book series, and the other is the fifth in a sixth book series) at the same time. It’s utterly crazy but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
4 thoughts on “In The Writing Zone…”
Me, too! I’m in the writing zone and have written over 2,000 words in 2 days. Considering how little I’ve been writing lately, that’s a lot to me. I love the zone and I never want to leave it!
I love the zone. I have a vivid memory of an afternoon in 1999. I was overseas working, sitting in a makeshift bedroom with a fold out table and a rickety old chair. My clunky laptop with its state of the art 1GB hard drive just fit on the table. I pounded out 10,000 words that afternoon and evening. It was like I was channelling my characters, everything just fell out of me. It was the ultimate zone experience. These days I have to work a lot harder to find the same place and I’ve not had an experience as productive as that for a long time. I’m too accessible to others who want to interrupt me for something even if I ask to be left alone. Because I have a disability people get worried about me if I don’t check in a few times a day, which is wonderful and I appreciate their care and concern, but it also means I can never be truly alone to disappear into my own world for extended periods of time. And then there is work. I don’t have a normal 9 to 5 job. I work for a small family business I helped establish, which means if something needs doing urgently no matter the time, I have to be available. It is rewarding and frustrating at the same time. But sometimes there are those moments when everything aligns and I get a couple of hours in the zone. Love it.
Thank you for reading and commenting Katia! Wow, 10,000 in one day is awesome. It’s the best feeling ever when it goes like that! I’m glad to hear you still get some ‘zone’ time now too!
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Yay!!! That is great news! I am so happy to hear that 🙂 Hopefully now it’s kicked off, you will find it just keeps coming!