Learning to Flow

When doing anything, we tend to second guess ourselves or meet roadblocks built by our own unconscious hand. Getting things done means finding rhythm in our work, pushing forward. We can’t always be confident but we can do our best to be persistent.

NaNoWriMo is a good example of learning flow, National Novel Writing Month is an to attempt to bust out 50k words within the timeframe of November. Simple tenets of the challenge are to avoid editing or backtracking, and when becoming stumped, to simply skip the part you’re writing and charge ahead. The goal is to get the words out and finesse them later.

Picky, self conscious people like myself are tempted to be precious about our writing and feel unaccomplished if a paragraph doesn’t come out near perfect upon first being conceived. I’ll become obsessed with reworking the words until I’m mostly content, fearful that any writing put into existence that is unrefined and awkward means I’m a bad writer, even if it’s supposed to be a first draft.

This past half year I’ve been dedicated to unlearning my nitpicking self hatred and be as productive as possible with my art and writing. A week now into November, I’m three days ahead and have surpassed my word count nearly every day. When I notice myself rereading or feeling an urge to edit or extrapolate, I go to my authors notes at the end and explore my intentions and metaphors which I’ll eventually form into an afterward, and use as a guide when working on my second draft in the coming months.

The key lesson is flow, doing all we can to not interrupt our flow. Release your expectations, create a peaceful environment, remember why you’re doing this, and let yourself fall into focus.

Thank you for reading, all the best in your endeavours.

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