Before the sun rises, the chill of the morning invites me to my desk. I snuggle into my blanket wrapped across my lap and sip my sweetened coffee, steaming from my favorite mug, the words live, laugh, love scrawled in purple calligraphy.
I close my eyes as my laptop sings on and consider where my written words might take me.
This quiet routine is a success each time it’s achieved. It’s the first step that allows my favorite writing celebration to appear: Flow.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s (1990) book titled Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience helped me understand my writer’s life.
There are moments of flow when time passes without my awareness, as I am engrossed in my writing so deeply that the world falls away. I suddenly find myself laughing out loud, or crying, or pounding the keys in anger as my words help me tell my story and the stories of characters that are so alive in my mind they are real.
Have you ever experienced flow as a writer? Times your words have taken you along a journey you did not plan. A journey you did not know awaited your participation. A journey riddled with surprises that awed you and created a hunger in you to continue your writing routine.
I invite you to reflect on moments of flow in your own writing. Moments when a main character shocked not only the other characters but even you. Moments when your word choice impressed you. Moments when you knew you were—you are—not only a writer but an artist of eloquent writer’s craft.
Danielle L. DeFauw, Ph.D., is an associate professor of reading and language arts at the University of Michigan - Dearborn. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Join her blog: Writing Connections. Follow her on Twitter: danielle_defauw.