Writing Discussion

Getting into the Flow

Flow: that state of mind where the words drip out of your fingers at the speed of thought, the story unfolds in clearly front of you, the words echo its shape and feeling, and you lose all sense of time.

It doesn’t always happen for me. Some days it’s just plain difficult to achieve. When I’m tired, stressed, or distracted, I have to dip into my magical bag of writer’s tricks to help get the words going.

I always keep it in my pocket. Let’s see, I have it right here!

The red velvet pouch bathes your face with a golden light as the drawstring is pulled loose. A tag clearly labels it as “Tessa’s Magical Bag of Writing Tricks”. When you are no longer blinded by its magnificence, you notice several pieces of paper spread out on the table. You have a sneaking suspicion someone’s been eating a lot of fortune cookies.

The papers read:

  1. To brainstorm is divine.
  2. Get physical. Use a pen and paper.
  3. Keep a journal. Save your sanity.
  4. You will soon desire tea and a blanket.
  5. A  glass of wine is the solution.
  6. Daydreaming is writing minus the typing.
  7. Go for a walk. Your body will thank you.
  8. Your lucky lotto numbers are: 5 10 21 38 42 46

Journal writing is a big thing for me. I can’t sit down to write until banished the stresses of the day. My journal usually degenerates into a story brainstorming session, but that just gets me in the mood to write. Really my bag of tricks is just a list of things that help me get comfortable. I get the words unstuck by throwing a lot of them down onto paper without worrying if they’re good and bad. It’s about getting past the writing and back into the story.

Still some days it’s impossible to get into the flow.

What’s in your bag of tricks?

6 Comments to “Getting into the Flow”

  1. Flow is a hard thing to find. Sometimes I use artwork to focus my attention; if I can visualize a scene, it’s a lot easier to write. Music also helps. Sometimes there is no answer, and you just have to push yourself forward anyway.

    1. Hmm I’ve never tried using artwork, but that may be because I don’t have a large enough collection to pull from. That’s something I’ll have to try! Music’s a good one too. I usually find it helps if I’m having a problem with mood or tone.

  2. I second the music. I slavishly collect soundtracks from my favorite movies; I find they make a great background music for writing, and what’s more they’re already pretty easy to sort into mood and theme by the scene the piece was written for.

    For inspiration by art, if you’re doing Speculative Fiction, one half-decent place to get a lot of material for inspiration might be http://www.elfwood.com. It’s a massive hodgepodge of high-quality and fairly low-quality art, but it’s all speculative fiction art.

  3. What you call journaling is what I’ve started to do with my “morning pages” — have you heard of those? It’s apparently a big thing for writers, although I only learned of it last summer. Basically it’s daily freewriting — 3 pages or 15 min, depending on what you want to go by. Supposedly puts you in the habit of writing daily, helps purge your mind of the excess, and can help you generate or work out ideas. So far I’ve found that true on all counts! Sounds like you have too. 🙂

    (I rarely do my “morning” pages in the morning, though. Hehehe.)

    1. Oh, I’ve never heard of those, but it seems like the same idea. LOL there’s no way I’d ever get anything done in the morning, oy, I’m so not a morning person. I tend to just do the brainstorm whenever I get a chance.

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