How about you? What’s your writing state of mind these days? How do you access that “mysterious faculty” where insight and imagination are nurtured? How do your instincts about your writing ability help you? What’s your experience of being in “the writing zone”?
A writing state of mind, Becca calls it: this state of alertness that is not aggressive. It’s what I sometimes wake up with, that sense that you’ve got something there, like a float in the middle of a very calm sea, it stands out, is visible, it only needs words and the words are there, trying to come out and that’s when I sleepwalk to my (working) room and sofa and pull out a pen and notebook, or my laptop, and simply start writing and I don’t really think about it much, simply follow the story. Those are the best days. On bad days, which unfortunately are much, much more frequent, simply because most days are working days, the state has escaped me or has been rudely layered over by the daily pressures, getting up, the work, trying to fit everything into one day and there is precious little time left to find a way to that mysterious faculty and imagination. Those are days that I think I have not even got that faculty or that insight and that it was all an imagination, wishful thinking.
But then, I just know it will come back, I will wake up again with that sense of urgency, or simply have to sit down at the end of the day and let it pour out. As Becca says, this urgency can overwhelm you when you are doing completely unrelated things, but only when these unrelated things do not require other intellectually demanding pursuits, such as report writing, or dealing with clients! They happen when you are cycling, or sitting on a train picking up a conversation or letting your thoughts wander, or when you’re in the garden, or all of a sudden when there is a lull and you sip at a cup of coffee, or… Anyway, you get the drift. What I’m trying to say is I think that it is quite hard to call up that ‘writing zone’ when your mind is active and alert to projects, research, dealing with people, interviewing, etc. I know that I need to create that space, the calm sea, help it along, give myself time to let go, otherwise I will be unable to nurture my imagination and the source for the stories that I want to tell, and I will end up depressed and thinking that I will never write another word again!
Thanks for this interesting stimulus, Becca, I now know that I’ve got to make that effort, on a daily basis if possible, definitely at very regular intervals. Even just sitting here now and writing up these words at the end of a long working day helps me to refocus and reminds me that it is not just waiting for the ‘inspiration’ but that I have to push it a bit here and there, create it, as well as writing being about having the tools to do it.
And now I’m going to read the other posts that were put up in response to Becca’s – I did not want to read them before I had pulled my own thoughts together. And if you haven’t put up a post on this subject (yet) what do you think about this question. Is there such a thing as a ‘mysterious faculty’ that writers have?