Recapture the Joy of Writing

When I'm working on a writing project and things are going well – meaning, the words are flowing and the work is almost effortless – I call this "going under."

It's like I've gone deep under water and left the world above the surface behind to live in the world of my characters or my topic (if I'm working on nonfiction).

This is more commonly known as "working in flow."

I'm sure you know the feeling, whatever you may call it.

You're writing and suddenly you look up and notice the time.

You thought you'd only been working for a short while, yet hours have slipped by.

Writing in flow or going under is a wonderful feeling.

In fact, I think it's the real reason many of us love to write.

It's the writer's "high."

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to work in flow or go under when you have many projects ahead or a tight deadline looming.

Over the years, I've learned a few tricks of the trade that help me go under on a regular basis.

Maybe they'll work for you, too.

To Write In Flow...

First, it's hard to write in flow if you leave your writing to the last thing each day or you simply write whenever you can grab a few minutes here and there.

Your mind will find it difficult to relax and simply focus on the work at hand.

For that reason, schedule specific times to write.

For example, you might schedule time during the early morning to work on your novel – perhaps from 5:00 to 7:00.

If you get in the habit of writing regularly at this time each day, your mind will start preparing for your writing session as soon as you wake up each morning.

It won't be filled with thoughts about other things that happened earlier in the day yet, so it will be easier to focus on your writing.

Next, find a quiet place to work, away from all distractions.

You don't want someone or something pulling you back up just as you've gone under.

Next, if you find it difficult to move from one project to another during the day and work in flow on each project, take time to transition from one project to another.

For example, I may work on fiction in the morning.

Before I move to nonfiction in the afternoon, I take a break.

I might sit and meditate or listen to music for a few minutes so my mind is ready to make the switch from fiction to nonfiction.

Have Fun!

Most importantly, don't forget to have fun as you're writing.

Just write what comes naturally.

Be yourself as a writer.

You can rewrite later.

Now...go under today and recapture the joy of writing!

Try it!

For more writing tips, delivered to your e-mailbox every weekday morning, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge now.

Suzanne Lieurance is a freelance writer, writing coach, and the author of over 40 published books.


Terry Whalin said...


Great insights in this article about how to get in the flow as a writer. It is important to recapture the joy in our writing. I've found I need to remove any clutter from my desk area so I can focus on the writing task at hand and not get distracted.


Karen Cioffi said...

Suzanne, great tips on how to write in the flow. I'm pretty good at working through distractions, but I do need a clean block of time to be able to get into a writing flow.

deborah lyn said...

I appreciate these tips Suzanne!
A quiet place to work, scheduled times, and taking a break to transition from one project to another. Your consistent reminders to stay focused and get into the flow sets us up for success. Thank you!

What Is More Valuable Than Fame

By Terry Whalin (@terrywhalin) Many writers believe writing a book will make them famous. They believe getting their book into the market wi...