Yesterday, I decided to write in my notebook instead of going straight into my computer, and I was surprised at how easily the writing came to me. Call it what you will—being in the zone, being in one’s element—for this article, I’ll call it being in a state of “flow”, since words just flow from my mind to the page with hardly any effort. I had to admit, it was a welcome feeling to be back in this state of flow, since it doesn’t happen every time I write, and because I’ve been trying to work with writing on my computer, it’s been a while since I felt this way while writing.
As I’ve described in my poems “The Paper Witch” and “Homecoming“, when I get into this state of flow, it feels nothing short of magical. Minutes feel like seconds, and sometimes my words scrawl together because I want to get them onto the page as fast as I can think them. Actually, as I read that last sentence, “think” doesn’t seem to be the right word, as there doesn’t seem to be much of a cerebral process when I’m in this state of mind. Words just happen. In this state of mind, I could easily go for hours without remembering to eat or use the ladies’ or drink water (not the healthiest situation, I agree, but that goes to show you how strong this state of flow can be), and as I was writing yesterday, I came very close to falling asleep from exhaustion as I sat with my notebook in bed, the words still coming despite being too tired to keep going. I can’t remember the last time I’ve felt this way when I wrote my stories on my computer, not even when I did NaNoWriMo last year, though I’m sure it’s happened before.
Since I’m on the move a lot, a notebook and pen would be more to pack, and may make my bag a bit heavier. In my opinion, though, it’s much more productive if I bring that notebook instead of having staring contests with my laptop or tablet; the laptop always wins. If I want to try to harness the feeling of the state of flow so I can be inspired to write as often as possible, maybe this was a sign to go back to writing on paper.
Do you prefer to write with paper or on the computer?