Do The Work Wednesday #10: In the Zone

by Lian on May 16, 2012

When I’m writing, I know I’m in the zone when I start to picture scenes in my head in the middle of the night.  I have very clear visions of action unfolding, complete with dialogue and jokes. That’s a good thing and a bad thing, of course.

Bad thing: I’m lying awake and not getting  sleep.

Good: I can’t stop thinking about the project and I’m in the zone.

That happened last night. I completely re-imagined two scenes I’d worked on earlier in the day. Now that the kids are off to school, the dog has been walked and I’ve had my third cup of joe, it’s time to Do The Work.

How do you know you’re in the zone? How do you push through even if you’re not in the zone but still need to get the work done?

off to write..

Embracing my chaos, Lian


Want to Hear/See a Sneak Peak of Book #2? Check out the video on my Facebook Page! Scroll down to find the video. Thanks, Susan for shooting and posting this.

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Do the Work #9: It All Counts



Annie Goodrich May 18, 2012 at 6:59 AM

What I’ve found is that momentum feeds more momentum. If I get a good start to the day, then the rest of the day is more productive. I also rely on the wisdom of Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art (Lian, if you haven’t read it, READ IT!) where he acknowledges the power of Resistance. Once you understand that, it helps in the getting it done process! Good luck!

Mari @Bookworm with a View May 17, 2012 at 3:36 AM

I wake up at night all the time with things I need to do, ideas, etc… It’s wonderful that you’re being creative at night (vs created a to do list). HA

The zone can be tricky… working on a laptop all day and from home can be distracting (laundry, conf calls). The only time I’m truly in the zone is during a run. Does that count?

Off to see a sneak peek. Have a great writing day!

Cyndi May 17, 2012 at 3:23 AM

Karen, you sound a lot like me – spending a lot of precious energy helping those around you to get THEIR work done. I hear you about those high school teens in the spring semester (or at any point in high school, really) – it can be exhausting! I’ve learned to always have a certain level of reserve energy for myself – once I reach it, that’s it! No more helping others until I build up my own energy to a point I can be helpful to others. When you are filling up everyone else’s cups, fill yours first – never let it be empty. Good luck with your pursuits!

I am slow to get in the zone and slow to come out – I have razor-sharp focus once I’m there with my coursework and I get really annoyed when I’m interrupted with mundane things once I’m super focused … probably because I know how long it takes for me to get there! I guess I physically move around a lot before I sit down, fidget with my books and paperwork and then with a big cup of coffee, I eventually settle in and get to work. Once I’m there, don’t ask me “what’s for dinner?” because I just might bite your head off.

Michelle Butler May 16, 2012 at 5:16 PM

I call that time in my writing “being in the flow”. I get so focused I can’t hear anything else happening in the house. Sometimes my husband comes into the office to ask a simple question and scares me to death. I never hear him walking down the hall or knocking on the door. Being in the flow is the greatest feeling because the words, sentences and paragraphs are just begging to come out of my brain. They flow out like a raging river. I can’t type fast enough.

The other side of the coin is “being dammed up”. When this happens I can’t think of a coherent sentence or a relevant thought. It is time to walk away from the computer, do something else with my brain, and find a way around the dam. Exercise works great, but then again so does ice cream. :)

Karen May 16, 2012 at 11:14 AM

It seems I spend so much time during my work day taking things off other’s plates so they can “do the work” that seeking a job and a better environment becomes a challenge. Then when I get home I spend so much time getting the high school teens (3!) in my house motivated to “do the work” in the last 6 weeks of school (they SO have spring fever). Finding time for myself to “do the work” on my business or even on my own psyche has been wearing…thank gosh for my calendar reminders!!! The pop ups lovingly come to me at the craziest moment in my day reminding me that I need to think about my impending job search, my potential non-profit and most importantly me! I am grateful to Lian for her 2012 goal to “do the work”, as it keeps me moving forward when all I seem to feel is mired in everyone else’s stuff. So, I’m going to put it in writing and out there into the ether….I will spend time this week and weekend coming up with a list of folks who can be on my board of directors for my N/P and so next week I can start finding additional folks to fill the holes. Have a good week everyone!!

William J. May 16, 2012 at 9:48 AM

Sometimes I do my best writing when I am asleep. I keep a note pad and a pen next to my bed. I have really vivid dreams. Sure once in a while there is a dream that would translate to me needing psychological help but mostly I dream short stories that could be a chapter in a book.

As to when I am in a zone it depends on where I am at. When I am writing at my Mom’s house I know I am in the zone when I hear the shrieking voice “Didn’t you hear me?” I really didn’t because I was in a different world than at Mom’s.

When I am writing at home I know I was in the zone when I look at the clock and it is four hours later. I missed lunch or dinner, didn’t get hungry, didn’t hear the phone., just wrote.

Love the question this week!


Will listen to the video on book #2 when I get home from Mom’s tomorrow night. I have no doubt that I will like it!

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