OK, that’s enough putting it off, we have to sit down and get on with it.
However, now that I have explored what it is to have ambition, be inspired and then become a procrastinator, where do we go?
Where can we go?
Productivity isn’t something that you switch on and off as a writer, you have to achieve the zen like state of ‘Flow’. We’ve all experienced it, that feeling that you may never finish typing because the words aren’t just flowing out of you they are somehow jumping out before you barely think of them. It’s that glorious feeling that you are blissfully slightly out of control but, like a poker winning streak, you shouldn’t mess with it, you should just go with it. Officially, Flow is the operative mental state in which the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing with an energised focus, complete involvement and feeling of complete success in the process of the activity. It was discovered by a guy defined Csíkszentmihályi and he identified nine factors that accompanies the experience of flow:
- Clear goals – clear attainable goals allow our crazy, wild expectations to become tangible, something to aspire to. The smaller the goals within a wider context, the easier it will be to view progress against your big dream.
- Concentration – see my previous posts about distractions! It’s not hard to be 100% focused but there are steps to take to be able to maintain concentration to be able to slip in your creative trance.
- According to our massively monickered friend, within the feeling of flow a loss of self-consciousness leads to the feeling of the merging of action and awareness. Think of it like being the Bruce Lee of writing and waving your fingers at the empty screen before writing.
- You may experience a distorted sense of time like when you sit down, effectively black out and come around to see a couple of thousand words and a empty wine glass. Or bottle, but that would perhaps explain the black-out.
- After briefly flicking through your newly filled pages, you will find that it’s mostly good stuff. The total immersion you experience you to connect to the words that you’re writing and allow it to bring out your best.
- You will also surprise yourself by writing some of your best stuff. Stuff that you probably didn’t even realise that was in you. It may start to sound like some sort of religious experience and I suppose it is if you worship words!
- Although a great deal of the process of this feeling may feel like you are out of control, you are actually very much so. It is all within you in the first place, this is just a method of controlling your output. Like putting your volume up to 11.
- The actual feeling of performing the act of creating is intrinsically rewarding, so the flow become self fulfilling like a your own solar panel. The more you work, the more you want.
- Once you have become become absorbed in your activity, and your focus of awareness is narrowed down to the activity itself, there is an action awareness merging that effectively turns you into a writing superhero. I suggest you have a superhero word such as, “Flame On” to really get the full effect.
So there you have it, that is ‘The Flow’, my take on a serious, psychological topic with my own little twist on it. So, get to it; “FLAME ON”!
PS Sorry I haven’t posted recently, I’ve been a bit ill, better now though!