Writing in flow….


Sandhill cranes in flight

Sandhill cranes in flight

Sometimes, you get stuck. Just plain stuck. You thought traffic (words) was moving along smoothly (writing) and you come to an abrupt halt for no real reason.

Why? Maybe something distracted. I talked about distractions. Maybe you simply finished a sentence and put a period at the end, then found you had nothing to say. Now you’re stuck, staring at your pad of paper or your monitor screen with no idea how to move forward.

It isn’t Mercury retrograde yet. That’s when you review what you’ve done and edit or proofread it, or even revise it. That doesn’t happen until October, anyway, so that’s no issue now. Something stopped your train of thought and now you’re frustrated that you can’t get that wonderful flow of words back on track.

Well, let it go. It’s no big deal.

You might have been sitting in that chair all day long without a real break, or so focused on what you were doing that time simply vanished into another universe and you just noticed that sunset is going on now. It doesn’t matter.

Writing in flow, which is another way of saying ‘a continuous stream of consciousness’, is the same as painting in flow or just working at your paycheck job, when you’re so focused on doing the work that everthing else ceases to exist, including time. I guess it can be likened to a form of meditation, because you are immersed in what you write or paint or do.

I meant to write a blog post per week and find it harder to keep a schedule than it is to do laundry, but here I am. It’s random action for me, in this case. If something hadn’t interrupted my train of thought, I might have put this off for another day. But the something was very simple – a slanted beam of late afternoon sunshine shining in through my window, through the leaves of the sumac tree a few feet away, with that beam of light poking at my eyes like a child tugging at your sleeve.

Like any other endeavor in which our minds are fully focused, writing does require full attention. We are creating a world that exists only in our minds, to let others experience what our imaginations have generated. Artists who paint or sculpt or create installations do the same thing, and I know, because I’ve done a lot of painting and drawing myself.

Lily the art critic

Lily the art critic

To anyone who writes, I will tell you to let the breaks happen. Get up and go take a walk outside, even if there is a blizzard going on. Get some oxygen into your lungs and your blood. It will do you good. You may even realize that the parts that had you stumped aren’t so difficult to deal with, after all. You’ll go back to your creation and see it from a new perspective.

It’s nothing to worry about.

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