A to Z Challenge: Z is for In the Zone


Not in the zone.

Do you ever have that moment when the creative work just flows? When it’s easy, and effortless, and the words seem to show up on the screen all on their own? And they’re beautiful words, too. No toiling to craft the perfect sentence–it just appears.

In positive psychology,  Mihály Csíkszentmihályi asserts that flow is the sweet spot between boredom and anxiety. You’re fully present, in the space between autopilot and overthinking.

In those moments, we know pure joy. We feel fully alive. We recognize the truth: that we are creative beings, meant to be doing this work. Those moments make the frustration and confusion of the creative process all worth it. When you’re involved in a creative endeavor and you’re in the zone, everything seems easy and perfect.

But it isn’t always like that, is it? In fact, I’d wager that most of the time, it isn’t like that.

You can’t sit around waiting for the muse to strike. She’ll show up when she’s good and ready, but in the meantime, make it easy on her. Sit your butt in the chair and get to work. That way, when she does show up, it’s easy to slip into the zone and just write.

When do you feel most in the zone with your writing or creativity? Can you create the conditions for yourself to increase the ease of getting in the zone?

2 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge: Z is for In the Zone

  1. I think I feel most in the zone when I know I don’t have to rush off to work and I can sit at my favorite table at Starbucks and put my blinders on the the rest of the world. Hoping to get into the zone on my day off tomorrow =D I loved “between boredom and anxiety”. That is SO true.

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