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The flow of writing

I’m currently reading Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and I just a complete flow moment. I sat down to jot down some notes about a new project (which is a secret for the moment) and 10 minutes/1000 words later I actually felt the flow stop. All of a sudden the words weren’t falling out of my fingers and I had to think of what I was writing. And now I have a headache.

Man, I hope the flow comes on next time I sit down to write. That was one of the most amazing feelings I have ever experienced. I just had to tell you.

One Response to “The flow of writing”

  1. Ash Donaldson Says:

    Fascinating, isn’t it?

    Last year at APCHI, one of the presenters was looking at modelling flow for the games industry for a very good reason. A successful video game (and so usually one that sells well) is one that causes flow. Recently, the games industry surpassed movies, grossing billions per year.

    One of the software architects I worked with was also investigating flow in programming, how often it can be achieved, and how things like peer-programming (from eXtreme Programming) hinders this important event from occurring.

    Although I read it a while ago, I recently re-read this book and MC’s many papers. I hope that in the future, much more research is done into modelling annd replicating flow experiences.

    Another avenue for exploration alongside this is Edward T Hall’s work – especially his book, “The Dance of Life”. He looks at the many different dimensions of time as they define both culture and personal experience (as opposed to our linear view of Newtonian (absolute) and Einsteinian (relative) time).

    During flow – time seems to lose context and we are unable to track it. This is one of the personal dimensions of time that is often overlooked in our society, yet is so important when we think of getting things done, and done well.

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