Monday, September 21, 2009

Staying Away from the End Zone

Most of you know that I like to run. That doesn't mean I'm athletic or even coordinated. I just happen to like to run. The endorphins, I guess.

Even though I enjoy running, I hated P.E. as a kid. I was the one who tried to find a place to hide on the field. All the other kids were running to the end zone, arms raised high in the air screaming "pick me, pick me," so the kid with the football would throw it to them. I was hiding somwhere among the sidelines with my hand covering my face so said kid wouldn't throw the ball to me. Just call me the princess of invisibility.

A good friend of mine wrote an overwhelming and inspiring blog post about writers being in "the zone." This got me thinking.

I like to write. I've been trying to write, but have I actually ever been in the zone when I write? I want to be in "the zone." It sounds like a great place to be. I dream about being there, just kicking out my story. I can picture it flowing out onto the page. But that never happens to me. I think, pray, free write and when I sit down to write, part of the scene comes out and then I have more questions. Should my character do this or that? Is this really the right direction my story should take? What would she do in this situation? And on and on.

So, I wonder. Am I still that awkward kid in P.E. trying to stay away from the end zone? Only now I'm the awkward middle-aged woman who can't find "the zone?"

Hmmm. Something to think on.


  1. When you find yourself in "the zone", will you please do a cool dance to celebrate, like when someone scores a touchdown?

  2. Do you really have to be in the zone to write a good story. If so, I'm in big trouble!

  3. I don't think you have to be in the zone to find the story. I think the best writers learn to write outside of the zone. The end zone is only good for a couple of seconds. The game happens on the field. The game is the story.

  4. I agree with Kristi. I think the zone is just a fortunate moment in time and it feels great while you have it. Most of the time, I think writing consists of bum glue and forcing your fingers over the keys.
    Keep at it, Shari. It matters.


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