The Flow

I used to be an avid motorsports fan. I thrived on the exploits of Dan and Mario, Bruce and Denny, Jody and Giles, Keke, Niki, James, Alan and Alain, Aryton and Mark. I still keep abreast of it, but it’s become a complicated relationship.

I was recently reading Mark Hughes at MotorSport. He’d written a mid-season recap of how Formula 1 teammates fared in qualifying against one another. About one driver, he said, in essence, that the driver was still correcting and reacting to the car, that he hasn’t been able to get into a flow with driving it.

That’s how I often feel with creating a novel. Days come and go where I feel like I’m chasing the scenes, acting, and reacting. I’m not able to get ahead of it. I blame the muses for not showing up, for mumbling guidance, changing their minds, or disagreeing with one another, trapping me and my writing in their battle. But then, building on experience and effort, suddenly I fall into the flow. You know the flow when you’re there. Time and the world seem to vanish, because you’re inside your creation. Scenes spin into being like magic. Dialogue leaps into your head and onto the page. Decisions are made; you hold your breath at what’s happened, and walk away spent.

Today’s session isn’t a flowing session…yet. The muses seem to be sleeping in. Every sound from grinding to talking heard in the coffee shop feels like a personal assault.

The flow doesn’t always come easy. When it does, it’s a spoiler. Yesterday was one of those days. I walked in, sat down, wrote, edit, revised, cleaned it up, and departed. See how that would spoil me?

Time to put my head down and try again to write like crazy, at least one more time.

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