Thursday, 11 August 2016

Being 'In the Flow'

There is a state of 'free-falling,' or being 'in the zone,' that a lot of athletes / artists talk about. In fact, most people have probably had that experience one way or another. For me it happens when I've done all the work and can let go and let whatever happens happen. As an actor it is living / breathing in the moment. As a writer it is almost like my fingers become possessed and I simply have to allow them to write the words for me.

It is an incredible feeling.

J and I call it being 'in the flow.' I don't think we are particularly original or unique in using this term, it's just the one we use to describe what's going on for one (or both) of us. Sometimes we will simply look at the other person and know that they are 'in the flow' and will wait on whatever thought / opinion we are wanting to voice.

There are also those times that we will be 'in the flow' together and those moments are truly incredible. I feel like we have one brain and it is crazy how 'in sync' we become. It reminds me of when I worked with a particular Improv troupe. On stage together it was like I knew which way the other person would take the scene even though it was all happening in the moment. Of course improv is different, we all knew the games and the rules, whereas J and I are completely making it up as we go.

Nowadays it's easier for me to accept this phenomenon because we have worked together for so long and obviously grown quite close. The first time it happened (quite early on) I thought she might not believe me that I was just about to say the thing she had typed as she was typing it. Shortly after, though, as I was typing, she exclaimed "I was just thinking that!" And my heart grew two sizes :D

I think now this is how we know we are onto something good. When our 'in the flow' happens, it is like the story is waiting to be uncovered and we simply have to pull back all the layers. Every so often we find characters waiting below, sitting, waving up at us with dirt on their faces saying, "What took you so long to find us?" Out of them pour the stories, the experiences, the pain, the ecstasy, it is amazing to watch them emerge, fully formed, and breathe life into us and our stories - not the other way around.

Sometimes my fingers write things that I swear didn't come 'from' me but 'through' me. That is what being 'in the flow' is like for me as a writer and it is amazing.

- M

*M, This really makes me think of the inspiring Ted Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Your elusive creative genius' ... some stories just want to be in the world.  - J

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Maira Gall