Increasing Flow & Other Things Happy People Do Differently


It’s only Wednesday and I’m at a loss for words for today’s post. So I’m taking a leap and hoping that while this topic is not FILM related, it will speak to any and all creative types (like filmmakers). Sometimes you come across some great gems in the Twitterverse. One such 140-character find simply read: “12 Things Happy People Do Differently”. Only 12, I thought? Okay, let’s explore this. To be honest, there weren’t THAT many groundbreaking traits listed in the article (4. Practice acts of kindness, 5. Nurture social relationships, 7. Learn to forgive), however there was one that has stuck with me since reading.

8. Increase flow experiences.

FLOW? What is that and how do I get me some? But seriously, as I read the description of the trait further, I realized that I might have experienced a few moments of flow in the past.

 Flow is a state in which it feels like time stands still.  It’s when you’re so focused on what you’re doing that you become one with the task.  Action and awareness are merged.  You’re not hungry, sleepy, or emotional.  You’re just completely engaged in the activity that you’re doing.  Nothing is distracting you or competing for your focus.

So…that’s FLOW…? Hmmm. Even as I re-read the description here on this blog, I nod my head along because THAT is exactly how it feels when I’m writing. I tend to call it being “in the zone” but I guess putting it another way is to say that I “engage in experiences of flow” when I write. You screenwriters out there know what I’m getting at.

For the longest time, perhaps since my first grade teacher required us to keep journals for class, I have loved to write. What I loved, craved, and desired most from the written word was to hear “the voices”. Yes, I fully admit that when I write creatively, when I’m in the flow, I can hear pieces of dialogue and/or description. I’ve read quotes from other writers who’ve said the same things so that helps me feel a bit more sane (or insane, not quite sure which is better). It wasn’t until my first screenwriting course that I realized this was the style of writing that I liked best because I could often hear dialogue in my head before I wrote it down. You could create full-fledged characters who would speak to you, if you knew them well enough. The scariest/best part is when you didn’t know them yet. They tell you where their story will start with a sentence or a picture. It’s an exhilarating feeling when you actually are struggling to scribble or type fast enough to capture all of what you are hearing or seeing in your head on the paper/computer screen.

When it’s finally there for me to see/read, I feel such a release of energy. That is why I write. For the voices, the zone, the flow. Even though I’ve taken an unexpected hiatus from my most recent script, just knowing that writing can possible increase my happiness is motivation enough to return to the revision process.

Here’s to finding and engaging our flow!!

Also, I could not end the post without giving thanks (Express gratitude was #1 on the list, after all). My senior thesis, “Jemila’s Tale” was recently profiled as part of our college’s new READY campaign. I couldn’t have completed the project without such a supportive community and am extremely honored to share my story with prospective students. You can view the full article here.

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