There’s a feeling that many authors are probably familiar with. I like to think of it as ‘writer’s high’ but others refer to it as having the muse. I also call it being ‘in the zone’. It’s that wonderful feeling when you enter one of those writing phases during which you’re on a roll and the ideas are spilling from you quicker than you can type them up.
Unfortunately, it isn’t always like that. Sometimes it’s an uphill struggle, especially with a new novel, and it can take a while before you really connect with a piece of work and with the characters. You’ve got your basic premise for the novel and may have drawn up an outline but it feels a bit like painting by numbers as you try to fit each of the scenes into an overall framework. However, you’re not feeling a real spark and your writing isn’t exciting you.
Then, all of a sudden, something kicks in – one idea leads to another, scenes come alive in your imagination, characters become animated and you’re typing like the clappers, before you forget everything. You stop to make the dinner, you think of something else. You go for a walk, another scene comes to mind. You go to bed and the ideas still keep spilling out of you. By the morning you’ve got pages of handwritten notes ready to type up the following day. Your mind is alive with the thrill of it and you can’t wait to commit it all to the PC before you lose the feeling. Does that sound familiar?
It can take over your life – a bit like a drug and, although it’s a good feeling, it can get in the way of so much. When I’m ‘In the Zone’ ideas usually come to me when I’m trying to relax so it can be while I’m trying to sleep, when I’m out for a walk or even when I’m taking a shower. I find it useful to have a notepad by my bedside and another in my handbag so that I can jot down ideas whenever they come to mind. When I’m ‘in the zone’ I find it difficult to concentrate on a film as my mind wanders. That’s the reason I watch a lot of trash TV; because I don’t need to concentrate too much. (That’s my excuse anyway.)
With my current WIP it was an uphill struggle for part of it but mostly because I was going through emotional upheaval in my personal life. However, I’m now in a much better place and back ‘in the zone’. This novel has two timelines running through it and, in order to write the later timeline, I had to recap on a lot of what had happened in the previous timeline. I was relieved to find that it read quite well. Perhaps my personal struggles helped me in dealing with much of the conflict in the book.
I’m almost ready to give the novel a good edit and hope to send it off to my publisher in a few weeks’ time. It’s been a challenge as it’s the most I’ve ever written for a novel, in accordance with my publisher’s guidelines. But this story has a lot of depth to it so I was confident of reaching the word count without any unnecessary padding. I’ll be keeping you updated as I progress further with the novel.
6 thoughts on “Writer’s High”
So pleased Heather you are back on track, “life” as a habit of going wrong just when you do not need it. You seemed to work through your personal issue and into your writing. Wish you you all the best with your latest novel.
Thank you so much for your kind words. Yes, I’m glad I’m back on track again, and I’m looking forward to editing the book and sending it off to my publisher. 🙂
Yes, ‘Writer’s High’- know it well, still in the midst of it (finished draft, now editing), and it hasn’t waned despite ‘life’ getting in the way and slowing me down considerably on my track. I wish you plenty of uninterupted ‘knuckle down’ time for your editing. It is the only gift under the Christmas tree I would be beside myself to receive. Best wishes! 🙂
Thanks for your feedback. I’m glad you’re still ‘in the zone’. Good luck too with your editing and best wishes. 🙂
I know all about ‘Writer’s High’ Heather. Pleased to hear that I am not the only one affected by it. Emotional upheaval can make it really hard to focus on work/writing. Congratulations on finishing the draft of your novel so quickly.
Thank you, Guy. I hope your current WIP is coming along well. 🙂