Mar 6, 2011

Getting into the Zone

Okay, it’s Sunday night, I don’t have a busy schedule and I have a nagging feeling because I haven’t written anything for a little while.  I’ve got no excuses, but why do I feel nervous anyways?  I’ve been writing various stories, articles, etc. for a good long while, but for some reason the anxiety seems to always be lurking just out of view like a monster hidden under my bed at night.

Am I afraid my writing will stink?  Am I afraid of writer’s block and that no words will come forth once I sit down in front of the keyboard?  I once heard that writers enter “the Zone” when they write, a special place in time and space where everything else seems to fade away.  Gone are your concerns about that project you're doing at work, gone is the mental note to take out the trash later in the evening, gone is the fear that maybe you don’t have any ability to write and you’re just kidding yourself about all this.

Once you’re there, everything just seems to fall into place and you remember why you’re doing this, why you’ve always done it.  It’s not about money, awards, or even having an audience.  It’s about the writing itself, the story, the characters, the endless joys of creating a world that would not have existed without you.  There’s a lot in our lives that’s out of our control, but what we write and create is uniquely our own and it’s exciting.  With all that, I should have no trouble getting into the Zone, but why do I still feel like I’m dancing around it sometimes like a kid who doesn’t want to do a homework assignment?

Like anything in life, if you really want to do it, you’ll push yourself and find away.  The Zone needs to be demystified and I realize I need to stop standing by the edge of the proverbial pool and just dive in, even if the water’s a bit cold.  I mentioned in a previous post that the best way to live life is to actually live it and getting in to the Zone is no different.  Stop dancing around the pool and just dive in.  Starting, for many of us, is the biggest hurdle because we tend to get so overly worked up about whether or not the water’s cold and if our next writing session will be fruitful that we forget it doesn’t matter.  You may write something great today, you may not, but the point is to keep writing.  Don’t try to just step into the Zone, dive in head first and let your body adjust to the temperature along the way.

Okay, enough said for one day.  It’s time to do some writing on my own and I can see the Zone beginning to appear in front of me and it’s time to grab my swimming trunks.

I’d love to hear about your experiences with the Zone and what you do to ensure you’re able to devote enough time to writing on a regular basis.