Lacking Time? Learn to Get into the Creative Zone
Posted on December 12, 2012 by Tom Evans
“I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.” Golda Meir
Quality writing time is one of the most precious commodities for an author.
All too often authors struggle to cram creative hours into already busy days.
Sometimes they are up early, sometimes late. Heaven forbid anyone who interrupts a writer when they are in their groove. All Hell will get loose!
When you are in that state when things are just flowing, two strange phenomena seem to occur.
Firstly, it’s almost like your book is being dictated to you. You just know that the first draft is near perfect and will see itself through to the final edit. Secondly, time seems to take on a mysterious and even ethereal quality.
When we are in the zone, we are unstoppable and our output doubles, triples or even quadruples.
If you think about times when your are stuck though, it’s almost certain other thought processes are in operation. Doubt, fear and anger are all anathemas to writers. Being guilty about taking the luxury to write in the first place will somewhat ironically stop you in your tracks. Harking back to a conversation in the past, or thinking about what you are having for supper, will block your Muse.
Many Practical Time Management Techniques
Now there are many practical time management techniques that writers can use to help out. Switching off your phone and email are a given. You may choose to lock your door to bar disruptive children, or partners.
What works for me has been just telling both clients and colleagues that from 8:30 to 10:30 am each day, I will be writing or crafting something or other. Right now – or is that write now? – like this very blog. After a short while, people respect this and the phone simply doesn’t ring while you are writing. It’s like you put some sort of ‘force field’ around you.
Over the last few years, I’ve researched how to get into the state where we are in flow. These are the simple steps I take before each writing session. They apply whether you are writing a book, a blog, some marketing copy or even a sales proposal.
Simple Steps to Take Before Writing
Step 1: do nothing – meditate for 10 or 20 minutes, or just go for a walk
Step 2: think of your reader – what and how can you write that would entertain them or give them great value
Step 3: think of yourself – what would you like to gain from your readers engaging with your work
Step 4: engage your right brain – do a doodle, as I did here to encapsulate what you are writing about – or mind map what you are about to write – see this blog on free association Mind Mapping
Step 5: sit in your writing chair and stare at a blank screen, or sheet of paper, with your eyes open but defocussed. Then breathe deeply 9 times, with your out breath about four times as long as your in breath.
Step 6: write
Step 7: when you finish give yourself a treat – for me, the usual reward is a cup of tea and digestive biscuit
If you would like to try to meditate as suggested in Step 1, but find it difficult to make your mind go quiet, listen to this short visualisation :
listen to ‘How to Quieten Your Mind’ on Audioboo
To really experience how to bend time, I’ve crafted an immersive course designed to get you into the zone and to forge a strong connection with your Muse
Start Bending Time today!
Some other related articles
Time is What You Make It
How to Write and Publish a Book in Less than a Month
Clocks of Money