This pic has noting to do with this post…I just thought it was cool.
A lot’s been said lately about writing styles and writing techniques. But what isn’t talked a lot about is the writing Zone. This is a place all writers go, whether organized or not. It is when the writer, craftsman, artist, or whomever is totally focused on the piece at hand. The Zone is the place in which the workman/woman focuses. Some Baseball announcers refer to the Zone in players who are performing well as Locked In.
For a painter who is standing in Detroit, but focused on a street in Paris, the Zone is the Paris street. They are there on the Paris Street looking at every nuance around them. For a writer in St. Louis, the zone maybe a battle field on the Planet Zutar. Once in that zone a writer does not want distraction. They are concentrating hard on what they are experiencing. At the same time they are typing away trying to convey in words their experience. A zone is where all writers and people of creativity want to be.
Organization, or the lack there of, is essential in Zoning in. I mean really, your work area is where you spend your time writing. It doesn’t matter if it’s two hours a day or twelve hours a day, it is where you allow your self the time to express your creativity. With that said I scoot the piles of trash aside to find my mouse and that doughnut from last week.
Organization in whatever form you keep is essential. My wife keeps things in piles all over the house. But if you ask her where something is she will walk directly to the pile and pull out the paper, document, whatever, it is simply amazing. I use to ask her to find things I had no use for just to watch her do it. On the other hand I like things stacked, organized in groups, details outlined and so on. But if you ask me where something is I have to search for the specific folder or drawer and ask myself why I filed it that way. Then when I’m done with it I file it some other place. Such is my air head system. No wonder it takes so long to write a book or to get into the Zone.
Now, once you have organization and you are ready write…and here is the main question, music or no music? If music, what kind? Load or soft?
If you option for the no music environment, do you wear headphones to cancel distractions, or do you have the wear-with-all to withstand the outside noises?
I know some writers who can write no matter what, on a bus, on a train, or on a crowed New York subway. Nothing deters them and they can simply go into their writing Zone no matter the distraction.
Then there are those who need absolute quite…shhhh. These creative people distract easily and need totally focus to be in their Zone.
Then there are those like me…a little background noise is all right. Even if my wife is walking through the house or if the TV is on in another room…no problem. My zone is easily accessible, but I cannot get in the zone other than my work place. I’ve tried the subways, the trains, and planes…nope can’t do it. I do listen to music. I write late at night so I put on my noise canceling headphones, and put on something mellow, Pink Floyd, to Bach…smooth blues, or anything calming…nothing racy. Then its show time and I slip into my world…the Zone. If that doesn’t work I ask my wife to find something in her filing system and watch…amazing, it really is.
So how do you slip into your zone and is there music…leave a comment and let me know, I’m curious.