Writing flow

Writer's flow: not so different from an ice flow

A bit more on inspiration today since it’s just been One of Those Days.  But, it’s been an Awesome One of those Days.

After over a month of outlining and research, I finally started writing last week.  I’m pumping out two scenes per day (that’s, like, 2500 words), and it feels great!  I’m inspired.

I remember this feeling…I used to get it when I was a preteen.  I called it my “flow”.  It was like the creation in my head just had to come out and I would type for hours–silly little stories only my sister could love.  Thanks, sis.

So, I’m in a flow at the moment.  I type and type, sticking to my pre-planned outline while also letting the creative notions come out as they please.  I know other writers recognize this feeling; we wish we had it all the time.

Unfortunately, writer’s flow is a lot like an ice flow.  It’s surrounded by parts of the glacier that move more slowly than it does, or in other words, the days of inspiration are surrounded by days of slow-moving creativity.  The ice flow is softer than the other regions of the glacier, you can’t stand on it or it’ll crack.  Writer’s flow is more expressive  than the rest of the words, but you can’t depend on flow alone or your story will crack.

That last part is important.  One can’t survive on just the flow.  A writer is going to have writer’s block or have to deal with unfinished ideas and disconnected passages.  Essentially, what your fingers type during the flow may seem brilliant (and I’m sure it is), but thirty or forty or a hundred pages later, it unravels.  The plot’s no longer holding together, or you introduced a bunch of unfinished sub-plots along the way, or you’ve just completely run out of steam.

Well, at this point, I’m grateful for the rest of the glacier.  That outline I agonized over gets me back on track.  Or, my minimum word count forces me to keep chippin’ away at the solid ice and spit out 500 words a day.  Eventually the flow will return; it always does.

I’m curious to know what other people experience.  I had the same experience writing my masters, taking voice lessons, learning German, and heck, with life in general .  Some days are smooth and other’s are frozen still.  Is this flow universal?


This is the continuation of a video I shared the other day.  It’s Epik High in Trot.