IN THE FLOW

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Hey everybody – I’m excited to have J. Scott Sharp guest blogging this weekend!! Besides the fact that he is a great guy, friend, Tweeter, blogger, he is the author of several works including his latest, “Not Even There” available on Amazon.com – get your Kindle edition now!! Please also take some time to check out his blog at http://jscottsharp.blogspot.com/  – You’re going to love it! Now, please join me in welcoming Jason (hope I didn’t just blow his cover by revealing the secret to the ‘J’) as he discusses muses, handcuffs and the sweet spot – wow, this could get interesting…

First, I want to thank Sheila for an opportunity to kidnap her blog. She’s so awesome and I am so thankful to have gotten a chance to know her. I promise I will try to leave her blog in the same shape as I found it. Okay…maybe not.

I really wanted to talk about those times when a writer gets into the flow, the zone, the sweet spot, if you will. How many of you can say that you get into this Heaven for writers? It is a land of unicorns and rainbows. A place where all of your favorite music plays and the rivers run with literary gold. Okay….I’m exaggerating. A little.

The other day, I was sitting at work. I typically go to work hours early so that I can get some writing done before I get started with my duties for the day. On this particular day, I wanted to write, but I was afraid to get started because I didn’t know where the story was going  from here. I had already written 1000 words the day before and I wanted to write another 1000 for that day. I didn’t know where the story was going or what I wanted to say. I didn’t know what I wanted to do.

And that day, I learned a very important lesson about the process of being creative. It is a lesson that many people have told me over many years. I either wasn’t listening, or thought they were full of it (so sorry to those people. I’m a slow learner LOL). The lesson I learned is if you can’t sit down and write,do it anyway. If you don’t know what to write, then sit in front of your computer and use that time to think about your story, but don’t get on Twitter or email or watch a movie. This time is for your writing. If you aren’t going to write, then you will just sit there until you do.

The muse is stubborn. Sometimes, he is right in your face, giving you every word and sometimes, your muse isn’t coming with you unless you handcuff him or her and force them to come along.

That day I had no idea what I was going to write. My mind was like a dry desert. I had not one idea in my head (which really isn’t that unusual LOL). But I sat down any way and the words started to flow, flow like those rivers of literary gold (or at least bronze). I left that experience with the best feeling I had ever had writing. A feeling like there was nothing I couldn’t do. A feeling like it was all going to go right, and if it didn’t, it was okay. I could always fix it in edits. I wasn’t afraid to put words on the page.

That is one of the best feelings in the world!

17 responses »

  1. I agree with turning off twitter and email (and facebook!). I love them all, love the connections made and interactions – but next thing you know the entire time you had to write is gone. Yesterday at lunch I realized I had 10 minutes left and hadn’t done my edits. Wanted to add a bit to the first chapter to show my character’s relationship with her sister. So for 10 minutes I shut out everything, and 300 words of new stuff just flowed! That is how to spend my writing time. (Doing the math, that is 30 words per minute. Wish I could keep that pace up every day).

    Great post – thanks Sheila for letting Mr. Sharp stop by! 🙂

    • Hey Julie!

      Twitter and email are what i get to do, if i have competed my writing for the day. I love them too. it’s how I keep in touch with the people that I care about. However, they are time sucks! I typically show up for work two hours early and I put Aerosmith on at a ridiculous volume level, put in my earbuds, then I write. It amazing what comes out.

      thanks so much for the reply!

  2. That in a nutshell is where my blog comes from. I wanted to get back into writing, and the best way to do it was, to simply sit there and do it. I used the blog as the motivation / commitment element to get me going and went from there. That led to all the stories (not published on the blog yet), poems, essays, and other things.

    • Hi Elliot,

      Thanks for the comment! You are right. Sometimes it takes some wrestling to get writing done. Great job at sitting there an making it happen. It’s hard sometimes, but you seem to have it under control…I wish I did all of the time 🙂

  3. I agree–even if you think you have nothing to write, do it anyway. Usually something always comes out.

    BTW Sheila–I use the term “sweet spot” in my post coming out on Monday but in a different context. 🙂

  4. Hi crubin,

    My problem is that I want everything to come out like literary gold. I have to give myself permission to suck, and then it seems to flow out really easily LOL. I have never been more embarassed that I used the words “sweet spot” LOL

  5. Sheila I enjoyed your guest, J. Scott Sharp – he has excellent creative writing suggestions that work for him.

  6. nice little commentary on the process of how to get words to move out of you. the line of handcuffing the muse and dragging it with you. that is really really good.

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