• j.mee

Let it flow, let it flow, let it flow...


Today, something amazing happened. I looked at the clock and it was 1:22 pm.

I try to start every work day with at least two hours of writing.

I drop my honey at the subway around 8:45am and go park myself in a local coffee shop. Small coffee with plenty of milk. Sometimes the writing comes easy. Some days I’m restless and the writing is hard. On good days, I manage to extend my work period to 11:30am or even 12:15pm as I finish reworking a chapter or developing a new scene. Today, I made it to 1:22pm.

For me, this is probably a record.

Don't get me wrong though, I’m not too proud of the numeric goal. What pleases me is the flow.

Have you heard of flow before?

It’s a word that’s kicked around for a while – a term to explain how ‘time flies when you’re having fun’, or an explanation of how one ‘lost track of time’. This week I’ve been reading an excellent book called Grit, The Power of Passion and Perseverance, by Angela Duckworth. (An absolutely fabulous read that explores how we have control over a lot more than we might think, when it comes to our circumstance, and what to do about it.) In it, in a chapter called 'Practice', she's quotes Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's study of flow and his explanation of the state as told to him by an orchestra conductor:

"You are in an ecstatic state to such a point that you feel as though you almost don't exist... My hand seems devoid of myself, and I have nothing to do with what's happening. I just sit there watching in a state of awe and wonderment. And [the music] just flows out by itself."

Substitute [the writing] for [the music] and you've got an on point description of how today's writing session felt.

Here's a second description from a competitive figure skater:

"I mean everything went right, everything felt good... it's just such a rush, like you could feel it could go on and on and on, like you don't want it to stop because it's going so well. It's almost as though you don't have to think, everything goes automatically without thinking..."

Is there anything sweeter than experiencing this kind of optimal moment for oneself?

It's everyday magic.

#flow #writing #bookreview

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