Writing in the Zone

I recently saw an energy bar called “The Zone”. That made me think about the Olympics and a comment made by one of the gold medalists, saying that he performed especially well because he was “In the Zone.”

Even though I try to write everyday, I must confess I am not always in “The Zone”—that sweet spot from which I write nearly perfect scenes. Where the Point of View Character speaks, authentically. The action takes place in my own mind’s eye and translates to the paper, via the keyboard.

In “The Zone”, there’s no anxiety, other than the suspense in the story itself. I’m able to express myself just the way I hoped.

So, if there truly is such a place as a “zone”, then how does one get there? Accidentally, or due to some extraordinary effort?

I am closer to writing in “The Zone” when I get caught up in my story, emotionally. When I actually become the character I am writing about. It also happens when I take the time to give myself what I call “a flying leap.” That’s when I go back a chapter or two from where I finished off the day before and then read forward to that place where I stopped. 

This gets me immersed in the world of my story, again, and lets me feel the emotions that drove my writing the day before. 

From there, I just write on.

So, whether we’re talking about a school zone, a safety zone, or a time zone, being in one is a pretty good place to be. 

It’s that almost-magical place from which thoughts freely flow and fingers fly across the keyboard—that unique world in which writers write at their optimum. 

How do you get there?

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