Now, that you have made peace with the fact that you are a writer, let’s get down to it. The question I need to ask you is: What are your writing? How are you writing? And the scariest thing to ask is:
Are you stuck?
If you are, pay close attention.
As I have said before, writing is both talent and skill. And The Flow is one of those things that is hard to explain if you have not experienced it. But, fear not dear one! This is where the space you have created comes into play. It is a conduit!
You are the plug.
The space is the outlet.
When you connect–that is when you access The Flow. What you also need to remember is good writing is done over time, but you must be able to be willing to write the ‘bad stuff’ to get to the ‘good stuff’! But let me tell you a secret:
You are going to have to trust yourself.
You are going to have to trust your story.
You are going to have to trust what your talent.
You are going to have to be brave, dear one.
Accessing The Flow means you are going to have to be brave–your talent, your story, and your imagination are the circuit. That circuit jump starts The Flow!
Think of it as walking into the ocean, and never fear it taking you over–you want it to! The power that is has, the depth you experience, which will propel you through and towards your work in progress. It’s a jump start when you are stuck!
Fear not, dear writer. Help in on the way–and it’s on the inside of you!
In his book, On Writing, Stephen King speaks about muses. He talks about making your writing space conducive to writing. As rudimentary as that sounds, it’s true! One of the things that make writing easy is when you have an area dedicated to writing. An area that is set up and set aside for writing. I understand that this is not totally possible in certain spaces and times, but hear me out.
When you set aside space to write, your thinking shifts! It allows you to concentrate, and focus your attention on what you want to create. The space grants you access to that creative space (The Flow) and writing–because that portion of your mind is receptive, makes writing easier (Accessing).
This place can literally be a notebook that you have in a specific place. It can be an alarm on you phone to remind you to write (more about writing schedules next month), a desk in your house or an office. As you set aside the space to write, be aware of things that make writing easy for you.
Do you write to music?
Do you need complete quiet or noise in the background?
Do you need a snack to write?
Should the room be hot or cold? Do you need to be hot or cold?
All these things should be taken into account when you set up a writing space, or writing time?
The success of your writing, the maximizing of your time is the focus when you set of this space. The Flow is not a nebulous thing–it is a force! Since it is a force, it can be commanded or ignored. Make no mistake, The Flow is a great power source–and if you cannot remember this, you will never tap into it with the confidence you require.
Writing is equal parts talent and energy. The more you understand what you need as an artist in order to create, the better you will get at writing.
*The 3 F’s of Writing will be tradmarked through JBHarris Writing Services. Look for this book to be released in May 2020 under Divinity Publishing. Thank you! -JBHarris
Avoid the frenzy.
In looking through your draft-drawer, it can be completely overwhelming! Utterly overwhelming! It can be discouraging. It can be nerve-racking! This space–if not put in the proper perspective–can look like a graveyard for your imagination. Which, no lie, can make any writer feel like a complete failure! Or it can lead to what I call ‘the frenzy’.
This is the feeling where you think you have to do everything all at once. This feeling robs you of the weapon that is creative energy. It forces you into a space of panic and doubt–a paralytic for any writer! This is the feeling you have when you feel that you cannot complete anything you have found–which is incomplete. This is also the feeling you have when you believe there is too much in front of you to try and complete what you have found–that is complete.
Conquer ‘the frenzy in three steps (the 3 F’s of Writing)’
Forgiveness. Life is hard. Writing even harder. Accept that what you have in front of you is not burdens, nor the sum total of them. They are opportunities. Wisdom dictates that you never squander them. Everything cannot be done at once–but one thing can be done. Choose wisely.
Focus. There are only 24 hours in a day. No more. No less. With the demands of your time, whatever those are, you have to be generous with yourself. The tool to develop as you take the challenge to complete a writing project is time-management. Dedicate a set day or time to work on what you have you decided to work on. Your work day will be–should be–unique to your needs. Whether this is a specific word count, page count or sprint (writing as much as you can in a set time (as few as 10-minutes or as long as 2 hours; it’s up to you!). Time can be enemy and ally. Make it an ally.
Faith. All writing is an act of complete faith. You are taking something which has only existed in your mind, and taking it –by force!–to a physical media. It’s scary! It is traumatic in some cases! But it is not impossible. Bear in mind that, every work is written one word at a time. One day at a time. One minute at a time. It can be done. It is not overwhelming, and it will not overtake you. Some days are easier than others, yes. On these days, the writing is a joy! On other days, it can feel like Sisyphus. But unlike the myth, the writer–you!–can make it to the top of the mountain. Letter by letter, word by word. If it helps, remember the words of the Little Engine That Could: “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”