In the Zone

If you write, you probably know what I mean when I say I love writing when I’m in the zone. It doesn’t matter if there are people standing around chatting, neighbors mowing their lawns, kids running around wildly (I suppose there really isn’t any other way for them to do that…), dishes piled up in the sink, etc….my mind is focused entirely on writing. The words flow out almost too quickly for my fingers to keep up. Scenes unfold, snappy dialogue is exchanged, the plot drives forward, characters come so vividly to life I swear they are performing immediately in front of me and all I need to do is find a way to put to keyboard everything I see, hear, taste, feel and smell.

You’ve had this happen before too, right?

I’m guessing you have. Earlier when I was on twitter, (if you like, follow me at STWick…wait, I can include a link, can’t I?!/stwick Hmmm…what the heck is the #! for?) a version of this topic was brought up. Basically, a good writing day meant either a messy house or a rather simple dinner on the table. Others mentioned that they were lucky if they remembered to eat or drink while they were writing. I suffer from that too. I’ll slip into the fantasy world I’m creating and forget about the world around me. (It’s why I have so many alarms programmed into my cell phone–one to wake me up for job#1, another to pick the kids up from school, another to remind me to get ready for job #2 etc).

After this twitter exchange, I did some cleaning around the house, washed some dishes, and ate a small lunch. I picked the kids up from school and then I spent some time working on my newest novel.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t writing ‘in the zone’.

Now obviously, I want to pick my kids up from school and spend time with them and my wife, and make it to work on time and I can’t just let all the housework slide (my wife is very understanding of my need to write, but I’m sure there are limits and for the sake of a happy marriage I don’t want to find out exactly what those limits are! LOL), but what I’m getting at I suppose in a very round-about, indirect manner is this:

Does finding a balance between your real life and your writing life actually decrease your ability to write ‘in the zone’?

I don’t know if I have an answer for that…yet.

What do you think?



About inkcompetentwriter

Author of The Penitent Assassin and The Rush of Betrayal duology available at and

One response to “In the Zone”

  1. Robin Lythgoe says :

    Real life often intrudes on the Zone. On the one hand, it stinks because being in the Zone totally rocks. On the other hand, we’re forced to take a break from our writing (and our frequently bossy, independent characters) and Other Stuff gets to percolate through our brain and become details and ideas for our stories. We still win.

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