Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Four Ways to Reach a Flow State for Writing

I've already discussed the mental state of flow, in which your writing productivity and output can soar. But how do you enter this priceless mental state? And more importantly, how can you stay there?

1) Give yourself an optimal environment. Your writing workspace must be quiet and protected from interruption.

2) Give yourself time. Allocate an open-ended block of time to as many of your writing sessions as you can. Don't expect to enter a flow state if you need to quit after thirty minutes.

3) Eliminate all potential distractions. Turn off your phone. Close down any programs on your computer that might disrupt your focus. That means shut down email, chat, additional browser windows, and so forth.

4) Finally, focus your mind. Before you start your writing session, close your eyes. Take three slow, deep breaths, and spend three or four minutes visualizing yourself working in a flow state. Think in detail about your subject. Imagine yourself, as vividly as you can, working effortlessly in this optimal state.

Readers, what suggestions would you add?