“When we are writing, or painting, or composing, we are, during the time of creativity, freed from normal restrictions, and are opened to a wider world, where colors are brighter, sounds, clearer, and people more wondrously complex than we normally realize.” Madeleine L’Engle
Madeleine knew a thing or two about creativity—she’s describing the concept of “flow” before the term was even coined. We’ve all slipped into that state at one time or another. What bliss to visit there, even just for a while. And how well Madeleine describes being in “the zone.”
We’re freed from normal restrictions: The limitations we usually feel fade away—and we feel buoyant and free. Time seems to slow down or speed up—we lose all track of it. Hours can seem like minutes. Space disappears—we forget where we are and find ourselves elsewhere.
We are opened to a wider world: We feel free and unfettered, able to travel anywhere our imagination wants to take us. Ancient Rome? A medieval monastery? An asteroid hurling through space? Whatever we want to explore is ours for the taking and the creating.
We find ourselves where colors are brighter, sounds clearer: All our senses seem to intensify. We can see and feel and touch ourselves into another world, another time and place. It’s only a place in our imagination, but it’s vivid and real to us.
We find ourselves where people are more wondrously complex: Freed to explore a wider world we are also free to see more deeply into the hearts of the characters we create. We have the luxury of giving them rich, layered inner lives. We can reveal and conceal whatever we want.
What magic we have at our fingertips as creatives! Let’s enjoy our moments of flow and be thankful when they arise. Write on!
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