Reading in The New York Times this week that one can attend a five-day retreat to learn how to "optimize performance through flow" (for $5,000)
prompts me to return to the topic of flow and writing productivity (for free).
Recall from posting No. 8 that "flow," as described by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1990), characterizes activity in which our goals are clear, our
concentration deepens, our feelings of control increase, and our anxiety decreases while our belief that we are capable of the task increases.
Is this what happens when you write? I hope so! You likely won't start at flow. (If you do, I applaud and envy you.) Usually after writing for 30
minutes or so, you realize you're "in the flow," or "in the zone." It has become easier to produce new words, sentences, and paragraphs, to fill
It's tempting to stop writing when it's not going well. Don't. Please keep writing so you meet your goal (even if your goal is a really bad first draft).
To increase your chance of getting to flow:
So start writing and expect to experience flow. You can do this!
Jan Allen, Associate Dean
Academic and Student Affairs
Cornell Graduate School