There’s No Place Like The Zone!


Click your heels together three times and say, “there’s no place like The Zone.” If you’re a writer, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Picture it…You’re saddled up to the kitchen table with your laptop. A fast and furious rhythm of keystrokes adds to your momentum. Not even the trail of breadcrumbs from lasts dinner can distract you now. I’d liken the feeling to an out-of-body experience. So engrossed in the scene and what my characters are doing, if someone were to call my name, I couldn’t answer. Not because I didn’t hear them, but because every ounce of my being is enveloped by my story. Whee Whoo! I want to live there.

Then…life calls. Little things like eating, sleeping, and responsibilities pluck you from your coveted moment of bliss. Hours or maybe even days go by before the stars align and you can return to writing. Yet for some unknown reason the words won’t come. Each keystroke is interrupted by the dreaded sound of the back space key. Why, oh why can’t I get back in The Zone? Just like an addict seeking a fix, the mind games begin. You dig the clothes you were wearing last time you were in The Zone out of the hamper and add a splash of perfume to mask the smell. All that does is make you stink, yet the quest continues. You pitch and prod your brain trying to focus on the magic. The result is the same. Still nothing. You even go as far as sprinkling crumbs on the table only to find that the mess drives you nuts.

Ah…The Zone…it can’t be bought, forced, or summoned. But…writing, no matter how you feel, is how you can be ready to receive The Zone when she returns. So, my fellow seekers – write. Write with discipline, conviction, and purpose. Eventually, you’ll get another glimpse of that place that resides somewhere over the rainbow! Keep looking!


12 thoughts on “There’s No Place Like The Zone!

  1. Your blog made me laugh. (I hope that was your intention.) Not only do I have breadcrumbs, my stacks of dishes are a hazard. My writing is constantly being interrupted by my real job. The phone rings, customers want attention, or my husband wants to chat at inopportune times, but I have never dug clothes out of the hamper to recreate The Zone. I do, however, wear the same pajamas from Saturday afternoon (when we close the office) till Monday morning’s shower. Not even perfume will help. I just know that when The Zone calls, I answer, whatever the cost.

    Good luck with The Zone! Keep on writing.

  2. LOL! That wasn’t life calling… that was me!! Answer the phone woman! Great post, Jan. It’s difficult when you’re heart wants to be in your book, typing away… and you have to tend to those things in life that NEED you!

    But, I will confess I don’t dig the clothes out of the hamper. Note to self: make sure when I go to Jan’s to write that she’s wearing clean clothes!

  3. This make me smile because as soon as you described The Zone, I knew where you were. Been there. Wanna go back. The Zone is danged elusive, but oh so seductive. It’s like the call of the wild. You can hear it off in the distance. You head in that direction like a lemming. As soon as you think you’re right where the song emminated from, you hear it over on the next rise. Elusive. But, you’re so right. You could chase The Zone forever and never catch her. Just keep pounding that keyboard and, eventually, she will hover over you like sunshine over your shoulder. And when The Zone is there, I bet your words are smokin’ hot.

  4. Jan, I have now subscribed to your blog. I love writing but have never done much. I have my notebook of things, Ideas, thoughts, but nothing serious. I have begun to see what you are writing and hope to get inspired. I have been writing grants and curriculum for years as a college professor but only for work not for myself. I agree I know the zone since as a grant writer I have to get in the zone. Many times it comes to me when I am not at the computer or the table. Many times it is in the shower, on the interstate, or just before I go to bed. I love your analogy of the zone.

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