The writing “zone” is something every writer is familiar with but that looks different for different types of writers. There are at least 5 basic generalizations of style where writers split into separate classifications.
- The Habitual
- The Ritualistic
- The Temperamental
- The Systematic
- The Obsessive/Addict
Those who write out of habit are familiar with zones as they are all about mindset, when they write, they are prepared to do so. Habitual writers are mainly technical writers, journalists, and essayist.
The ritualistic writers are the ones who kind of make a religion out of writing. The when, where, and what are important to the content produced. Bloggers, theologians, instructional writers fall under this category.
Temperamental writers are the fun ones, possible the stereotype for crazed writers. These favored few write whenever and wherever they wish, completely upon the impulse of creative urging. Temperamental writers are often novelists in the romantic or adrenaline workspace. Often look for temperamental writers to spas out over little things concerning their writing like a name they can’t think of, a scene that doesn’t make sense, or the fact that can’t find a certain word.
The systematic are the polar opposites of this. Like a writing machine, they have a certain system and way of doing things that make them unique and keep their work methodical and clean. Even should spontaneity occur for an idea, rather than act on impulse, they make notes to write up later when it’s time to do so. The systematic are most commonly story writers of historical natures or children’s books and youth fiction. Though, systematic writers can appear in most any area of writing.
Finally, the obsessed writer, or the writing addict. These are writers who find themselves incapable of not writing. They may relapse out of it for a while, but the return to it like a much needed drug. The obsessed writer cares less for his content than the action of writing itself. Mostly poets, song writers, fantasy and pulp fiction writers make up this category.
However, regardless of the segway that takes us there, the zone is a state of mental disability. Only when the mind focuses upon a single intent and the subconscious becomes a sub-level affinity can we begin to let our minds write for us. “In the zone” means effortless and spontaneous, concentrated creativity. A zone can be many things to many people. The biggest thing to consider is that zones cannot be planed, scheduled, or even spontaneously arranged. A zone is a frame of mental positioning. The definition of a writing zone is the ability to manipulate your thoughts and the position of the processes in which your mind engages. Sometimes it just happens, and other times you can make it happen.
The way to create a zone is to remove the conscious constant awareness and the subconscious passive awareness; to eliminate peripheral sight registries and focus sight and comprehension upon a single object.
The way we do this is by blocking our senses, the sense of smell is tied into the sense of equilibrium to an extent, which is controlled by the ears. If the body is not aware of what is happening around it the sense fade. Our sense of touch remains while we physically write or type on our phones or computers. Our sense of sight becomes isolated in its comprehension, and hearing once blocked by some preoccupation, which for me is music, initiates a zone under which you can begin to write.
For some people who must’ve been blessed of God with this superhuman ability, getting in the zone is as easy as finding a quite place and just writing. I must say though, this is the formula for bypassing inspiration, breaking the system of the human psyche, and tripping the mental fuses to create inspiration through a lack of all thought.
However, that’s not the best way.
The Best Way
Inspiration… As phlegmatic as the changing whims of the winds, inspiration comes and goes without warning, rhyme, or reason. It can be anticipated but not planed. One can seek it out and not discover it, yet in the most unlikely places it appears. Inspiration is simply a large word we use that can be illustrated as a force that pushes a certain thought to the front of our minds.
Out of It
If we bypass natural inspiration and attempt to create our own writing zones, we must suffer the penalties of that. The aftermath of overwhelming zoned-in writing is mental overloads often resulting in migraines or other crude manifestations of intense mental strain. The solution: going out-of-it, also known as escape, diversion, wind-down, chill time. My quickest path to getting out of it is, ironically music. The peace of engaging in mind-numbing activity often helps. Gaming with friends, watching movies or episodes of Girl Meets World, listening to “Multiplied” by NEEDTOBREATH, “Clear The Stage” by Jimmy Needham, or “I Look To You” by Whitney Houston have been my escapes recently.
It’s major irony that my escape from mental reposition is the same method that caused me to be in the situation to begin with. But when you force your mind to produce something unnatural, there will be cataclysmic effects. In summary, true inspiration only comes from God. You can’t make it yourself without much trouble and pain. It is God’s gift to writers and we should recognize that and ask it of Him more often.
As always, thanks for reading.
–the anonymous novelist