WFMAD Day 12 – Mindfulness Part 2

Do you flow? Do your words flow?

I’m talking about “flow” as it is used by psychology professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who wrote Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. In an interview in 1996, he defined flow as “Being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.”

Sounds like writing, doesn’t it?

(I just heard a voice in the peanut gallery shout, “It sounds like writing sometimes!”)

Agreed. If we were all guaranteed that every writing experience would flow, we would do little else besides write.

I’ve found that when I am writing every day (even if it’s only for an hour or so) the number of days in which I experience flow increases substantially. When I pick at the writing less often, I have more frustrating experiences.

Professor Csikszentmihalyi also said this: “Repression is not the way to virtue. When people restrain themselves out of fear, their lives are by necessity diminished. Only through freely chosen discipline can life be enjoyed and still kept within the bounds of reason. “

What do you think?


“Poetry is the art of saying what you mean but disguising it.” Diane Wakoski

Set… Find your quiet place, lock the door. The world can wait.

Today’s prompt: You are going to mash-up a poem with a weather proverb and see what happens.

1. Choose your proverb.

2. Take a few words from “Dublinesque” by Philip Larkin and insert them into the proverb. Make up a character who says that proverb and explain why he or she says it. Have fun!


13 Replies to “WFMAD Day 12 – Mindfulness Part 2”

  1. This is absolutely true! I joke that I’m a member of the Sisterhood of Discipline Builds Momentum. When I get going on a book (any day now *cough*) I’ll crank out 10, sometimes 15 pages a day. I just have to be diligent enough to get to that point. have been doing 5 a day lately, will take it since there’s a lot else going on too — there’s also a point in saying, 10 worked for the last book but maybe this one I can only do 5 and getting into the flow for those five, and doing them consistently, doesn’t mean you’re broken because you aren’t doing the 10 you did before.

  2. That is the best description of writing I’ve ever heard. As for the poem, at first I laughed and thought to myself “Why would I want to do this?” But then I actually went to visit the page you linked us to (the weather proverbs) and my mind started spinning with ideas. It’s dizzying (I get dizzy pretty easily). Now, I have plans for my afternoon.

  3. Even when I’m in my quiet place, my husband isn’t always observant of my space. He is currently upstairs and I’m down, but I can hear him swearing as he works on the shower plumbing…… (sigh) Life happens.
    We’ve lived together a long time and he is supportive of my writing, but right now I’m looking for ear plugs so I can write ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. When the stars begin to huddle and the evening mist brings the lights on in the shops, I slip on my raincoat, pull on my wellingtons and walk down mainstreet. Through the pewter light, I tiptoe and spy upon the streetwalkers in their wide flowered hats. How lovely they look; lips splashed in a daring shade of red, pink carnation on dewy cheeks and liquid sunshine sprinkled on their eye lids. The blue hood of my raincoat hides my eyes as they follow the ladies into the shop for cover and their afternoon tea. The raindrops patter, plop, and roll down my hood. Fearing the downpour, my feet head home. Earth will soon become a puddle.

    What fun Laurie! Thanks for letting me play today.

    BTW…I still have my journal from last August and I still read it for inspiration.

  5. Csikszentmihalyi’s words that ring the truest for me are these: โ€œRepression is not the way to virtue. When people restrain themselves out of fear, their lives are by necessity diminished.” I come from practical people and spent about 20 years trying to find something practical to do with my love of words and books. Everything I tried still left me with a sense of unsatisfaction (not dissatisfaction, which means you’ve been satisfied but have fallen from it–I mean the ‘this is not enough’ lack of satisfaction). It was only when I admitted to myself that I wanted to be a writer, that I was going to be a writer, that I went from feeling a hole to feeling whole.

  6. I LOVE that quote about poetry, Laurie.

    I wrote an hour today! Been writing every single day because of WFMAD. Thanks so much. <3

  7. I loved the poetry quote. It’s the total truth.
    Even though I have to admit I was apart of the peanut gallery who said “It sounds like writing sometimes!โ€

    Sorry. That’s just the truth from me. ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. Almost ten p.m. and I have just finished my thirty minutes of writing with Laurie.
    I had another long day at work, and when I came home, I was too tired. Too drained. Too stressed, but . . .
    Then I remembered my promise.
    Tired or not. Stressed or not, I have to follow the daily prompts.
    So I did.
    And it feels great!

  9. I love when I get into the flow of writing–such a high! Everything just grooves along and before I know it the CD is over or, more likely these days, one of the kids is waking from a nap.

    As much as I hate to say it, I have to respectfully bow out of the challenge. Well, at least I won’t be checking in daily. The family is heading out in the morning on an emergency thousand mile road trip to (hopefully) see my father-in-law who is in ICU and not expected to make it.

    My WIP will take the third row seating but I hope to journal along the way.

  10. I’ve been feeling that flow more easily, now that I”m writing everyday. Thanks to you, Laurie for the encouragement.

  11. It is easy for me to get in the flow with your writing prompts. Writing becomes hard at the “what ifs”… I have a hard time making decisions in which way to go or think maybe the writing is a waste of my time, or get stuck on coming up with a twist. Ugh. I stop.

    Inserting words in a proverb was fun! My character said, “When the stars light become huddled pewter, the earth’s afternoon mist will soon become a puddle. Better put the canopy on the surrey before we leave for town. We’ll wish we had on the way home tomorrow.”

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