Somedays I wake up and things just get done. Errands get run. Necessary items get purchased. Emails get sent. And books get written. Oh lord, do they get written. I just sit down and they start writing themselves.
And some will tell you that the writing on ‘in the zone’ days isn’t any better than the writing on days when you’re not in the zone. However, this is an assessment that I must disagree with. I think that when I’m ‘in the zone’ I write way better than otherwise. Instead of everything being all planned out and forced into place, the words flow from some internal logic of their own. It is a better thing. It is the best thing.
However, this has led to a curious state of expectancy, wherein I’ll wait through months of ordinary life and keep trying to see when and where I’ll get in the zone. And instead of going forward and wholeheartedly engaging with life, I’ll spend my time trying to reverse-engineer my mood and figure out exactly what stimuli will put me into the zone.
That is not a good thing.
Partially, it’s because I’m not convinced that being in the zone isn’t a result, rather than a cause, of the work being good. Maybe when everything is fitting together on the page, then I am even more in the zone than ever! I think that is sometimes true. In fact, I think there are many different ways of being in the zone. For me, there’s the mania-type state where I am just really energetic and productive for weeks at a time. And there is the more micro-level flow state where I just have one isolated day where I’m managing life really, really well.
Anyway, I’m getting better at focusing on actually doing the things and not thinking about where I am mood-wise. It also helps that in California the weather is much milder, so I have less seasonal variation in mood.