When You’re “In the Zone” as a Writer

It’s a real sweet spot when you’re writing fiction – just you, your laptop, a quiet train (or four with connections) and the open countryside of a 5-hour journey. I rarely hit my zone like that but when I do I allow it to fully take me over. It’s energetic, it’s exciting and even though you know where a fiction writing project is going, you are as on the edge of your seat as you anticipate your readers will be.

copyright: MG Mason
copyright: MG Mason

I hit the zone this weekend travelling down to Cornwall. I expected the engineering works around Bristol to cause me no end of delays as I was directed through Westbury and on to Exeter from there, but no. The network was surprisingly quiet and because I wasn’t forced to take a CrossCountry service, it went smoothly. A few weeks ago, I said that long train journeys are one of my writing sanctuaries, but it’s never been this good (having a table to myself on a quiet service – which in itself was surprising for a Saturday – was particularly useful).

“So what did I achieve?” I hear you ask. Well, despite only the third part of Miss Salter going up this weekend, I actually churned out over 3000 words, split it into six parts and finished the story all in the space of about 4-5 hours. I admit I was on the edge of my seat as I my fingers moved quickly over the keyboard, furiously trying to keep up with my brain.

If only I could get that way about Dead Heat and Romans Vs Aliens, I’m sure both would have been finished long before now. But at least with this project now finished, I can focus largely on those other projects.

I had a real rush when I finally signed off on it. Ok, it’s a short story told in serial format, but most of the ideas came to me while I was on the train. I already had a good idea of how it was going to finish, but the logistics of getting there was the problem to solve and I am proud to say I nailed it 🙂

Have you ever had a time like that where the prose simply seemed to gush out of your fingers?

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6 thoughts on “When You’re “In the Zone” as a Writer

  1. I feel like it always there. Like a tsunami of words just waiting to pour out of me, but I have to be someplace or sometime where or when I can allow it to come out. I’m hoping I can get that this afternoon (I need a distraction free zone).

  2. It’s been a very long time since I’ve had that feeling, probably since high school. Then again, I haven’t been that serious about writing since. The way you describe it is just wonderful and perfect and you made me crave that feeling again. Thank you for this, your re-spring has re-sprung my step.

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