Most of us experience moments when we seem to be functioning at a higher level – so bound up in our creative work we believe we are operating on a different plane from normal. When this happens, we often say we are in The Zone.
The creative zone. It’s a wonderful feeling.
Seven ways to tell if you are writing in The Zone
- You sit down and start. A few minutes later you discover four hours (or more) have passed.
- During this time you felt no urge to eat or drink or take a pee.
- What is happening to your characters feels more real than what is happening in the real world.
- People talk to you. You hear their words but you have no idea what they mean.
- If you try to speak – to answer the phone, for example – you are unable to form a coherent sentence.
- You find it amazingly easy to write and you can’t bear to stop.
- Afterwards you feel exhilarated but exhausted.
Writing in The Zone is a great experience, we all agree. When you’re there you never want to leave.
But The Zone is an elusive place. You won’t find it on any map. Sometimes it’s very difficult to get to. That is why writing can be such a frustrating and challenging and heart-breaking task.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could always just slip back whenever we wanted to?
Read the next blog post, where I try to work out where The Zone actually is.
Writers: using the left and right sides of your brain.