La Croix cans. Coffee-ringed desks. Multiple notebooks. Potato chip wrappers. Water bottles. Dying plants. Fuzzy blankets. Half-eaten sandwiches. Two-day-old herbal teabags.
That, my friend, is the portrait of a writer In The Zone.
It’s *also* evidence that they’ve been in flow state, stopped, grabbed a snack, and waited for that next burst of creativity to roll through.
Phew, is it hard to maintain!
You might find yourself feeling stuck and stagnant while writing from time to time too, right?
If you need to tap into a little more *flow* or want to ignite more creativity — here’s what’s worked for me in the past:
- Early morning walks. This isn’t by choice (My doggos love to wake up early!). BUT I leave the house right away with them and spend my first hour of the day in the morning sun, inhaling that sweet morning dew and leaving my phone far behind. I come back bursting with ideas. (And once I put my daughter down for her morning nap… I occasionally sneak off into the ocean to swim with my thoughts. Yes, it’s a true privilege. 🌊)
- Limited screen time. I’m trying to break up with my phone, and we’re in a better place because of it. I’ve removed all the brain-draining apps (or move them to the last page of my home screen) and often try to keep it in a different room if I don’t need immediate access to it. An hour before bed, its totally OOS — Out Of Sight.
- Reading new book genres, back to back. It’s forcing my brain to empathize and contextualize vastly different characters, genres and environments… Which provokes new ideas, inspiration and motivation. (I’ve got multiple business ideas brewing right now because of it). Not to mention, that’s an excellent strategy if you want to become a better writer in general. I recently finished Viola Davis’ real and deep memoir Finding Me, followed by a fun mystery (The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave) and now I’m halfway through a futuristic, tech-focused novel — The Candy House by Jennifer Egan. All totally different, all nice and stretchy for my brain.
- No meetings before 10AM. If I can help it, I love to protect my mornings before I have to sink into someone else’s world and give them 100% of my brain power. I usually keep two days a week meeting-free (game-changer!) and avoid scheduling meetings super-duper early if I don’t have to.
- Cooking spaciously. When I first got access to childcare, I felt like I’d barely achieved anything by the time our nanny left at 3.30PM. But I decided to reframe it and use my 3.30PM-5PM window to cook with s-p-a-c-e as my strength. Much like playing music or gardening or swimming, for me, cooking is an everyday activity that also really demands presence. It’s also at the end of my day where my brain is still whirring and processing, so it’s the perfect opportunity to let it all come together and make sense of what’s developing.
And for my final addition for this little list, of course, I recommend saving space to WRITE.
(Coming from me — a shocker, I know!)
You might know that I’m in the process of writing a book, and the overwhelm and dread is the same just for me — even though writing is my job.
It just feels different writing for yourself.
I’ve helped hundreds of entrepreneurs get access to their inner realness, but sometimes it’s happened just by holding space for them in a co-working session, journaling jam or private call.
But I’ve been navigating what it’s like to hold that space for *myself*… And I’m sure you come up against it, too. Here’s what I recommend:
Consider this a friendly invitation to pop an event into your calendar and call it “Free Write”.
You don’t have to use it to write an email or a blog post or anything business-y — it could even be using a journal prompt like “What’s feeling sticky today?” or “Why do I keep playing this song on repeat?” and you’ll be surprised by how that expression can bleed into the rest of your life.
Here’s to finding your flow + bursting the bubbles of great ideas that are hovering around you 🙂