~ Virgil (Ancient Roman poet and author of the epic, Aeneid,
70 BC - 19BC)
First up, my apologies to any men who may have stumbled on this post, thinking it would be a discussion about facial hair and fundraising for men's health issues (a.k.a. Movember).
Also to clarify, it won't be about motivation (although I have blogged previously on this topic).
No, this week's blog post is all about MOMENTUM. In the world of organisational psychology, it's know as finding your 'flow' (as described in research by Salanova et al: "the sense of effortless action [people] feel in moments that stand out as the best in their lives".
It's when you're so involved in an activity that time seems to stand still, when nothing else seems to matter. You also gain pleasure from performing the activity/work itself, not just from the outcome.
Now, I’m not writing this just to give you a quick pop psychology lesson. The flow phenomenon is of real interest to me at the moment, because I’ve recently experienced it with my writing.
It’s been nothing short of amazing, actually. What was once something to check off my ‘to-do’ list (my list seemed to go missing pretty often, though! :) ), what I viewed as a bit of a chore and had to discipline myself to get done, is now something I look forward to daily.
I find myself thinking about the next time I’m going to write, going over characters, plot-lines, and snippets of dialogue in my head. And if the time I’m actually able to write doesn’t roll ‘round til 11pm, then so be it. I’ll be there at my computer, tapping away in the glow of the little desk lamp. Before I know it, it’s past midnight (yawn!).
Lately, I’ve even experienced something akin to an addiction. If I don’t get a chance to write on a particular day, I find myself getting ‘antsy’, feeling on-edge. I even consider sneaking away from the kids (hah!) and other household chores to type in just one more scene.
If this continued over a long period of time, it could become a little frustrating (not to mention contributing to me aging prematurely with so little sleep!), but I think it’ll just be for a season. At least until I finish my current manuscript, which will hopefully be by the end of the May: You Write Your Novel challenge, which finishes in July.
From my own experience, being in ‘flow’ is fun and energising. What’s your experience of flow? Has it been so long since you found yourself totally absorbed in an enjoyable activity, that you can’t even remember it?
If you can actually recall the last time, have a think about what you were doing and why it was so engaging. And then try that activity again, or perhaps attempt to replicate the experience with something else. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll achieve, and the endorphin buzz you’ll get as well.
I’d love to hear about your own flow experiences via my facebook page.