Saturday, June 7, 2008

Stepping Into The Flow

In the most recent edition of "Poets & Writers" magazine, I was struck by the article "Way, Way Too Much Information." The title alone pulled me into the writer's musings on the subject because I think there is such a thing as too much information.

I think there is also something to be said for getting inundated with more information than you bargained for...unsolicited information.

I mention this because I'm writing again, and it's my deep desire to get one of the two books I've already written published within the next year. It is also my deep seated desire to bring to life the 5 other story ideas I have brewing in my mind -- some, of course, more advanced than others. I'm aligning with that desire and know it's just a matter of time until the books are in print and enjoyed by others. It's already in the process of happening!

However, what is needed for creativity? Some quiet time -- made possible by choosing to unplug on a regular basis. Less outside distractions...more internal quiet.

In the article, author Frank Bures has this to say:

"There is another, perhaps more important consideration for writers: the loss of creative space. In his book Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind: How Intelligence Increases When You Think Less, Guy Glaxton cites several studies that point to an
"unconscious intelligence," which works while our mind is disengaged or working on something else entirely. Ideas emerge from a kind of creative womb, one that works while we are focused on some mundane physical task, like walking, or riding a train, or staring at the ocean. Just letting the mind run.

"But if simply staring at the ocean and allowing your unconscious intelligence to do its work is difficult in this age of too much information, there is another state beyond that, which has become--speaking for myself, at least -- even harder to attain:
flow. As described by the psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, it's a state of mind in which you are so engaged in an activity that you lose track of time -- even lose track of yourself. You forget about everything around you and wake up kind of surprised to find yourself back in your room. The state of flow is when you get your best work done, and when writing really becomes fun."


I understand this idea of flow because it's happened to me on several occasions.
In fact, when I wrote my longer book, it flowed out of me in about 3-4 days of nothing but continual writing. Looking back, I don't really remember sleeping or eating...I just rode the waves of the creativity and gave birth to something I wasn't expecting. The story was IN me and all I had to do was sit in front of a computer or a piece of paper in order for it to just come tumbling out.

Because it is my desire that this happen again and again,
I know that all I need to do now is to put aside some "writing" time each day and wait for the stories to surface. And, I know they will, too, as they've just been waiting for the invitation to appear.

I welcome the "flow" and wait for it.


Margaret said...

Kelly, I'm fascinated by the interplay of mind and spirit and creativity in our daily lives, and your blog is a constant source of ideas and references! I looked up Guy Claxton ('Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind'), he's a professor at the University of Bristol ('my' university) and a Buddhist practitioner. Some of his articles, in PDF format, are posted on his website.

Kelly said...

Hi Margaret!

I am equally fascinated and am trying to learn all I can about it. That's so interesting about Guy Claxton but the synchronicity is not surprising to me at all. =)

For me, I've been spending my days reading Eckhart Tolle, Mona Lisa Schulz, Carlos Castaneda, Jerry and Esther Hicks and others in an attempt to more clearly understand how I create my reality.

I did this brilliantly as a child and young adult and then "lost" some of that intensity/power in my later twenties. However, I've reclaimed that power and the most incredible things are happening now. It's as if all I have to do is think it, and it is immediately delivered to me.