Zone

Z

Wow! Here we are. The last day of the A-to-Z Blog Challenge and we’ve made it. The ups and downs have been worth it, just to say I’ve done it.

Today’s word is Zone.

One of the definitions of zone, according to The Oxford New Desk Dictionary and Thesaurus, is ‘area having particular features, properties, purpose or use’. The writing zone is that place where the words just flow from your fingertips with little or no thought.

Writers seek the zone and can find it. Sometimes its luck and sometimes it’s not.

Tell any of your writer friends you found the zone and they all nod with understand. It is that moment that the world disappears and the only thing that matters is you and the words.

It doesn’t happen often, or at least not as often as we’d like. It would be nice if every time you sat down to write but too often the words come slowly. Or sometimes, not at all.

I’m not sure there is a “trick” to getting into the zone. I believe that a person can create habits that greatly increase the odds of reaching the zone.

Those habits include:

Writing daily – I find it best to write at the same time each day. Your muse responds to habit – usually.
Find other writers – Writing is often solitary and finding others who also write can shake up your own energy.
Create a ritual for writing – Using music, lighting a candle or the like can help you find the zone. I struggle to write if I don’t have a cup of coffee. I know things have been flowing well if the coffee is cold when I look up from my keyboard.
Read – Any time, all the time, when you aren’t writing. Reading books, whether they are nonfiction instruction type books, books in your genre or books out of your genre, can stimulate the brain to produce words.
Leave the inner critic at the door – Yeah, this is the difficult one. I’ve written about this before in this post.

These habits if modified a bit can apply to other things.

May all your words be written in the zone.

Have you ever written in the “zone” and how to you get there?

Journaling Rituals

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I journal everyday or nearly so. This is writing I do outside of my novels or flash fiction. I am able to stay clear headed and focused to be able to write everything else through this writing.

Mornings come early for me, 5:00 am. If I can get up without hitting snooze I count that as a win but it doesn’t happen often. After a few snoozes and taking care of basic needs I head to the kitchen for coffee. This is part of my morning ritual as making coffee is a bit involved and takes 10 to 15 minutes. It is also during this time that I do a few morning chores, just to keep up.

Once my coffee is made and perfectly sweetened, I head to my desk to begin the writing ritual.

I light a candle. This, for me, lets me know its time to focus. I then read a section of whatever book I am currently working on. Right now its this one found on Amazon.  Once my reading is done, then I begin with my journaling.

I’ve told you about free writing in this previous post but that is basically what I do. For this writing I use inexpensive composition books and fountain pens with purple ink. I am pretty sure I have stacks of these books in storage.

When I’ve completed my pages and I aim for about three each day, I blow out my candle.

Writing this way doesn’t produce stories or work toward my novels. This creates for me a space where I can clear the junk out, making the way clear for the words to flow for whatever I am working on at the moment.

Just a warning, it doesn’t always work to get the flow going but more often than not, it does.

What do you do when you want to get your creative juices going?