Are you a scattered writer? Are you disorganized when you get to your desk to get some writing done? Is your mind disorganized and fragmented when you write? Do your thoughts urge you to do anything but focus on what you are working on?
If you answered any of these questions in the affirmative, you probably don’t write in an optimal zone. When you write in an optimal zone all your attention is focused on the task in front of you, but not things that you have done before or things that you have to do later after your writing session. The outside world fades away, so to speak. Its noises and distractions subside, and you can simply focus on what you are doing at this very moment. Even your everyday worries dissipate and you transcend your fears. What utter bliss! During this time, you are in your optimal zone.
Focusing on what you are working on is not only the key to success but also it is the key to creating the kind of peace and contentment that you need and deserve in order to do your best writing during your allotted time.
The environment conducive to optimal flow should:
• Provide a high intensity of interaction and feedback
Many times writers just simply come to their writing time wanting to get some writing done. They don’t really care about the quality of their overall work on a particular project or how they are doing. But it is just as important to assess how you are doing as it is to get the writing done because that is the only way to really determine how you are progressing. Working in an optimal zone when you write will give you that kind of feedback.
• Have specific goals and established procedures
When you are focused, you keep what you are working on right in the forefront and you create specific goals that you want to meet during your allotted writing time. You also establish ways to do things so you are most effective and productive. And you are very successful and you get the writing done in an enjoyable manner.
It can be very motivating to be able to just sit and focus on what you are doing. Your mind won’t be scattered and your attention will be poised on completing a particular writing small writing goal during your allotted writing time. In fact, you will actually be motivated to continue writing until you have completed your goals.
• Provide a sense of direct engagement
You will also feel engaged to write when you’re in the optimal zone and do what you planned to do before you sat down to write. Your mind will be focused on what you are doing and not on anything else, thus engaging you thoroughly in what you are writing. This will provide you with a wonderful quality of experience during your writing time.
• Avoid distractions and disruptions that intervene and destroy the experience of writing
The most important way for writers to be productive and successful is to ensure that they keep distractions and disruptions to a minimum when they write. This will create a fun experience of writing, one in which the writer won’t feel stressed and frustrated and one in which she will want to return to over and over again.
Given these benefits, all writers should strive to write in this optimal zone. It can be hard at first to set up your environment and writing time so that it is distraction free and focused. But keep trying, because once you achieve this state not only will your productivity increase but you will want to write more often because of how great you feel when you write with this kind of peace and fulfillment.
Irene S. Roth