Today I want to write a quick few words about feeling in “the zone”. A lot of writers, and creatives, might know what I’m talking about. (Some may not.)
What do I mean by “the zone”? I’m talking about that, sometimes elusive, feeling of being completely connected to your work. That feeling that you are in fact exactly where you are suppose to be, in the career you are meant to be in.
I’m writing this blog mostly to just say that “the zone” is bull shit. (That’s a technical term.) Not to be harsh, but…yeah…it is not a real thing.
Now, do we/I/you have good days where we feel the swing of it, and bad days? Yes. Every professional does. But does “the zone” exist? In my opinion: negative.
The reason I say it doesn’t exist is because the minute you accept it exists then your career becomes this giant bear hunt to capture the rare and wild ” the zone”. Then you start saying stuff like “I just wasn’t in the zone today” every time you fail to meet a deadline. You start staring wistfully at dumb cat videos on youtube all day, wondering where “the zone” is, and if you’ll find it today.
You get what I’m saying, right? “The zone” is a fallacy. You create it, or you purposely shove it off in a fury of self-deprecating procrastinating.
Simply, in my opinion, if you want “the zone” just get working. I bet that elusive “the zone” will find you. And, you know what, if it doesn’t, if today is hell to work–if today is a day you fight for every letter you punch in…it is okay. Days like that exist. We just don’t have a sexy name for those days, like we do for “the zone”.
I wrote all that to finally get to what I really want to talk about. What I want to discuss, briefly, is not “the zone”, but that thing you get if you abandon the notion of “the zone”. I’m talking about “self-identity”.
Self-identity. It is what you think of yourself. Who are you? What are you? When some one asks “what do you do, guy?” do you say “Oh, I’m a writer.”
Or, do you say “I’m a teller at bank/waitress/insert whatever you get paid the big bucks to do, I write on the weekends/in my spare time/ not mention anything that is your passion at all.”
What I’m saying here is if your response to this is anything but “I’m a writer/author/king of literary awesome.” You might have a self-identity issue, not a “I can’t find the zone” issue.
What I’m saying is that it is a hell of a lot easier to find that stupid “the zone” feeling when you aren’t fighting a self-identity issue. (Or fighting for one.) All I know is it was a hell of a lot easier to write, write daily, and completely devote myself to it, whether I felt like it or not, when I changed who I saw myself as. When I started answering the above question with an “Oh, I’m a writer.”
If it is what you are, it is what you do. If you are watching dumb cat videos all day, then you are a watcher of dumb cat videos. If you pound down your 2k a day on the processor, you are a writer.
I’m not saying this to make anyone feel bad about not writing. I’m not writing this to shame people in any way. I am writing this to empower. You see, you are whatever you say you are. You can become anyone you want, at anytime, regardless of what you’ve done in the past. You mold you.
So, stop looking for “the zone”, and just decide to be a writer today. Make that choice enough days in a row, and you’ll have a book on your hands.