Friday, February 10, 2012

Finding My Flow

Sometimes writing is hard. Very hard.

I stare at a blank page and try to eke out some half decent words.

Then there are those times when ideas just seem to flow.

A few weeks ago, I had one of those wonderful flowing times.

I wish I could identify exactly what went right. How did I get to a place where I was so productive and having so much fun?

Feedback from my awesome agent definitely helped. (Thanks, Teresa!) She found a manuscript I had nearly forgotten and suggested a major revision that made it so much fun to revise. And then she suggested a new topic, one I had never considered writing about, and got my creative juices flowing.

Once I got into that creative mode, it was so fun to write and revise, write and revise.

Ah, how I love that flow! Writing is just so much fun when it goes like that.

Of course, life continues to be a bit crazy, and that wonderful flow did not last forever. So I'm curious, how do you find your flow? (And how much of your writing is just plain old hard work? :o) )


  1. I know exactly what you mean. My revision is going in fits and starts. Some days the rhythm is there, and some days it isn't. But it's been more good than bad lately, so I hope I'm entering that "Got IT" stage of writing. There's is nothing like it.

  2. Brianna,
    Send some of that creative flow my way! I've been stuck for a long time. Can't find the right project to start and nothing old seems worth revising. I could blame life, but that's a cop-out.
    This dry spell will end . . . but when?

  3. J.A.-- Oh, I love that phrase-- that "Got IT" stage of writing! There is definitely nothing like it! Hope you are on your way there!

    Gale-- Good luck finding the right project! That is definitely key. When I get into a flow, I am so very excited about the project I am working on. Hope you find something great to work on sometime soon!

  4. A fresh topic and some positive feedback are definitely a vitamin boost for my creativity. Other times I just have to stare at the screen... write, delete, write, delete, take a walk, and start again. And sometimes it's the negative feedback (oops, I mean 'constructive criticism'!) that jumpstarts me, but that can take a little longer... I am a believer in persistence. Glad it's going well for you Brianna!

  5. Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of EAT PRAY LOVE, says she tries to envision her creativity as a muse that visits her, something outside of her. Then if she doesn't ever again write something as popular as EAT PRAY LOVE, it's not her fault. She just shows up for the writing part and does her best. I love that!

  6. You spoke of my favorite thing. Always remember to thank the Muse~~~

  7. Brianna,
    I'm glad the flow was working for you. Sometimes it helps me to brainstorm ideas on the page before actually adding anything to the manuscript. That seems to take some of the pressure off. Afterall, brainstorming doesn't require "perfect" words.

  8. I'm in the "fits and starts" period myself and I've come to realize that it's all a part of my process. I wish I was someone who had ideas pouring out of every pore but I'm more of a slow burn gal. Instead of getting frustrated about it, I just try and accept it, realize that maybe that part of the story isn't ready do come out yet. I'm more patient with myself in the shi**y first draft stage than I am during revision, but I'm finding that they both have their specific challenges. And really, NOTHING feels as good as a great flow day! Glad you're having that now :)

  9. Julie-- I totally get how that "constructive criticism" can help flow. So many times, after a wonderful critique group session, I would just come home and start writing and writing!

    Ariel-- Wow! That's great! "Just" showing up is so important!

    Mirka-- Yes, thank the muse!

    Linda-- I think I take the pressure off by (obsessively) saving versions of my manuscript. That way, whenever I take a "wrong turn", I can go back a few versions and figure out where I was.

    Robin-- I definitely get that "fits and starts" period. In fact, I seem to be back to it right now. Hopefully we both get a great flow day sometime soon! :o)