Julie's Quest

Hello, and welcome to my blog. My blog is about the trials and tribulations of writing, where we celebrate successes and commiserate our near misses. We tell it like it is here and will do our very best to help you on the road to being published and pick you up after the rejections (they will come!) Whether you are a professional or amateur writer you will find something useful here.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts and will visit again soon.

Happy Writing

Julie Phillips - freelance writer - member of the Association of Freelance Writers - member of the Society of Authors

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

The zone

Have you hit it yet? You know that feeling you get when the words are hurtling from your pen to the page and you struggle to keep up and you're afraid that if you stop you'll never start again? That's what I call The Zone. I don't hit it very often, but when I'm there I just want to write and write and write. I know exactly where I'm going with a short story and everything just seems to fall into place - the story almost writes itself.

I started to wonder if The Zone was a totally random event that just pings out of thin air or whether I could do anything to influence it or make it appear more often. What I've found is that if I try to get in The Zone it doesn't happen. I've tried everything: playing certain kinds of music, eating certain foods, writing at certain times of day, shutting myself in my office, writing in a different place, but, so far, nothing has worked. I find that if I try to force it, it just doesn't work and my best Zones are those that are spontaneous and appear out of the ether.

My advice, if your writing is flagging and you are desperate to get the ink flowing again is not to force it as this can be counterproductive. Sometimes trying too hard is worse than not trying at all. Take a step back and get some perspective. If the words won't flow don't worry about it. Do something else to take your mind off your stalled creativity and related fall in your productivity. You might just find, when you're least expecting it, yourself in The Zone again.

Happy writing

Julie xx


Claudette Young said...

Julie, I agree with you totally. Twenty years ago, I flew into The Zone, totally by accident. Three weeks later, exhausted and looking for sustenance, I emerged from my office with 512 pages of fantasy novel. The experience is one that the writer never forgets, always wants to duplicate, and can never grasp out of thin air.

I've come to the conclusion that the experience is, not a fluke, but a timed intervention, by whatever spirit has taken charge of influencing that portion of one's life. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it.

Love the blog, BTW. Happy writing, Jules.


suzy doodling said...

Fully agree with you Julie. When I hit a period of a rejection too many, I get out my knitting needles and create a jumper. Then I know I'll like it, wear it, and then I'm able to access different parts of the mind that unlock ideas. Usually, then I will go on to have something accepted. So, it's write one, knit one, slip one, purl one. Happy writing.xx

Julie P said...

That's some great zoning, Claudsy! It's such a wonderful feeling when it comes out of nowhere. I'm finding that the spring air here is helping too - the days are getting longer and that's got to be a good thing!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Hi, Suzy, I think knitting is a wonderful creative activity. I like to knit too, although I'm not up to the standard of knitting a jumper yet.

My inspiration seems to be coming from the night sky at the moment, via the planets and stars. I'm into astronomy and I find looking at the night sky very therapeutic and idea generating.

I only have binoculas at the moment but I'm working my way towards getting a telescope.

Happy knitting and writing!

Julie xx