Saturday, March 20, 2010

Chance Encounters

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”  Buddha

You know you’re in the zone when you’re writing and the background music, becomes just that, background. In fact today, I thought I was listening to classical music. It was classical all right, classic rock and not quiet.  It took a while before that fact registered but here’s my excuse... My heroine was heading upriver into the wilds of Northern Thailand, a killer was on the prowl and in a troubling situation there was really no time to register anything about music. Really, I had just tuned out and tuned completely into the story.   The details of the story were clear, in focus and everything else was nonexistent.  The zone or as the experts call it – flow.

The ability to tune out everything around me is something I do when I love what I'm doing whether it's reading a book or in the process of writing.  It’s a skill that I can’t seem to voluntarily invoke, it just happens. And when it does I’m lost to everything except what I’m doing.

It’s something almost everyone can do easily in childhood when imagination is in overdrive. Back then one thought could take you into that inner realm. You became so focused on the subject at hand whether it was carving your initials on the metal case of your geometry set or thinking of your after school project; that the schoolroom lecture, the adult conversation, whatever was happening outside your head vanished. So we knew how to do it easily once - how do we get it back?

A google search or two returned what instinctively most of us already know: 
Love or enjoy what you're doing
Be challenged
Know where you're going

So now we know how to make the flow happen instead of the chance encounter I had today.  Oh, and one other thing, as my yoga instructor would often say, still your mind.   Then get into the zone and let it flow. 

When are you in the zone?

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Marcia Colette said...

I so know that zone you're talking about. I'll stamp out so many words that before I know it, I've written one or two chapters and hate the thought of having to take a bathroom break out of fear that I'll lose my writer's edge.

Ryshia Kennie said...

I hear you - that's it exactly. Make sure the coffee cup is full but then well that leads to the bathroom issue :)