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Finding flow state is so important to me and yet it has eluded me for a while now. I find it most often when I’m drafting, but it is so useful when I slip into it during editing. I find the most useful nuggets during that time.

This last week had a lot going on personally and professionally. We had a big photo shoot for my wife’s company yesterday and are prepping for some repairs at the house. It feels like there’s never a break these days. I wonder sometimes if this is how my parents felt. Hope you’re all doing well. Let’s get into it!

Drawing from the Well

This week I made more progress on edits. I finished mapping out the timeline as it stands. I still need to physically lay things out and see how everything lines up. I think I’ve done pretty well collapsing the timeline back together. The big item from timing perspective is going to be making sure that events in different chapters, from different points of view, at different locations in the world that are intended to happen simultaneously are ACTUALLY happening simultaneously. One step at a time. I did, however, start working on the additional Arc I chapters so that’s progress there. As things stand…

Pages 320
180,008 Words – Look! I cracked 180k! Granted, this will likely shrink when I get into my compression and line editing tasks, but that comes later.

Filling the Well

I didn’t finish any books this week but I did make progress on Water for Elephants, Stone of Tears, AND A Dance with the Fae Prince (Book 2 in the Married to Magic series, sequel to a Deal with the Elf King). All three of them are great for different reasons so I’m enjoying making progress across them.

Full List

29/100for #ProjectBookworm2024

Well Chat

I just found, through this revisitation process, that I started the outline for Book III in August of 2020, at the height of the pandemic. That was almost four years ago! I knew this book had taken me a while, but dang! November of ’21, I won NaNoWriMo and wrote a huge portion of the first draft of that book, which I’m STILL editing.

For today’s topic, though, we move a little further forward in time. By this point, the blog was taking regular hiatuses of months at a time. I was not happy about this, which eventually led to the weekly cadence we’re on now. By May 11, 2021, I was ready for a two-part blog (Part 1 and Part 2) about flow state. Let’s hit the high points and then I’ll cover what I’ve learned in the 2 1/2 years since.

  • Pre-write, even if just mentally.
  • Feed the world into your writing and write down what you come up with.
  • You’re more powerful than your fears.
  • Find your ideal time and circumstances to write and use them when you can.
  • Eliminate distractions.
  • Sprint.
  • Give yourself permission to write crap.

This is a lot of points. What it comes down to is preparation and grace. If your mind is open, you’ll have more creative thoughts, especially when you can’t jump on them. Yeah, especially then. If you capture them at the time of inception, you won’t lose them. Ideal circumstances are just that: ideal. That means you won’t be able to utilize them all the time, but you should when you can. Clear the board, get to work, and don’t worry about the output. You can change it and improve it later.

Flow state is all about unlocking your subconscious and becoming a conduit to your imagination. It stops being about you writing or typing or even thinking. You BECOME the tool. It’s like when you’re writing with a pencil. The pencil is actively writing, but it isn’t DRIVING the creation. In flow state, the same thing happens to you. You’re not actively driving the creation anymore, your imagination/subconscious is. It’s a much faster way to write, I’ve found.

These tips remain true to this day. Quiet for me is really important to flow state. I hit it the other day. My wife was at the spa and I went with her and sat in their waiting area and wrote. I put on my writing playlist and all of a sudden, my mind came alive. I ended up going DEEP in what I was working on and untangled a variety of problems. I even got back to writing on the additional chapters I need and the writing came easy. It was great.

What are your ideal writing conditions? How do you wrangle your imagination to create? Let me know on social media and see you next week.

May the tide carry you to safer shores.