The state of flow connects you to the joy of writing.

The state of flow connects you to the joy of writing.

The nine elements of flow map onto to three variables within your control: the work, the environment, and your inner state.

1. The work: The first three conditions of flow relate to the task at hand; it has goals, offers feedback, and is sufficiently challenging but within your abilities.

2. The external environment: The physical workplace plays a major role in whether you can focus on the task without distractions.

3. Your inner state: The remaining factors occur within your mind: focused attention, lack of self-consciousness, absence of fear, and forgetting about time.

The Muse is easily sidetracked, however, so find an environment that minimizes sources of distraction, separating you from the interruptions and temptations of daily life. Consider some of the following strategies for getting distance from distractions.

Create separation in space.
What matters isn’t so much where you go as what you leave behind—the ringing of the phone, interruptions of coworkers, or a queue of unread email messages. Create distance from day-to-day distractions.
Working in a dedicated space signals to your brain that you’re doing something special that requires focus. According to Daniel Levitin, “Just stepping into a different space hits the reset button on your brain and allows for more productive and creative thinking.”

Use dedicated writing tools.
Create separation in time. If you can’t physically get away from the everyday environment, try setting aside specific times to write.

Janzer, Anne. The Writer’s Process: Getting Your Brain in Gear (p. 31-34). Cuesta Park Consulting. Kindle Edition.
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