Unlocking the Secrets of Flow State: A Guide for Writers

Lori Ballen
7 min readJan 19


Just in time, no doubt!

Photo by Kirill Balobanov on Unsplash

Are you tired of staring at a blank page for hours, willing the words to come out? Or maybe you’re so deep in writer’s block that you consider taking up knitting to feel productive again? Fear not, my fellow scribes! I have stumbled upon the holy grail of writing productivity: flow state.

Now, I know you’re thinking, “Oh great, another fancy term for ‘being in the zone’.” But let me tell you, flow state is not just about being in the zone; it’s about being in the zone on steroids. It’s like the difference between a regular latte and a triple shot, extra foam, caramel latte. It’s that good.

But before we dive into how to achieve flow state, let me share with you my journey to discovering this magical state of mind. It all started one fateful day when I was trying to write a blog post. I had been staring at the screen for hours, and all I had to show for it was a blinking cursor and a headache. I was about to give up and go watch a cat video on YouTube (don’t judge me) when I stumbled upon an article about flow state.

And that’s when it hit me like a bolt of inspiration: I needed to learn how to enter flow state if I wanted to finish this post. And so, I embarked on a journey to understand and master flow state, and let me tell you, it has been a game changer for my writing process.

But more on that later.

In this post, we will discuss what flow state is, its benefits on your writing, and most importantly, how to achieve it. So sit back, grab a triple shot latte, and let’s get into the zone.

Understanding flow state

So, what exactly is flow state? In short, it’s a mental state in which a person is fully immersed in an activity and experiencing peak productivity and creativity.

When you’re in flow state, you’re completely absorbed in the task at hand, time seems to fly by, and you’re able to produce your best work. It’s that feeling when you’re so engrossed in writing that you don’t even realize you’ve been at it for hours.

But flow state isn’t just about being productive. It’s also about being in the zone creatively. When you’re in flow state, ideas come easily, you’re able to solve problems more efficiently, and you’re more likely to come up with new and innovative ideas.

So, now that we know what flow state is and how it can benefit us as writers let’s move on to the next step: how to achieve it.

Achieving flow state can be tricky, but with a bit of experimentation and practice, it becomes a regular part of your writing routine.

Here are a few techniques that can help:

Set The Right Environment

When it comes to setting the right environment for achieving flow state, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. It’s all about experimenting and finding what works best for you. However, here are a few tips to get you started:

Minimize distractions: This includes turning off your phone, closing your email, and finding a quiet spot to write. If you’re easily distracted by noise, try using noise-canceling headphones or white noise to drown out any background noise.

Or you could wear a “Do not disturb, I’m writing a novel” sign on your forehead.

Create a comfortable space: Invest in a comfortable chair, a good lamp, and a cozy blanket. It’s important to be comfortable while writing to focus on the task and not on a crick in your neck. And if all else fails, invest in a giant bean bag chair; you’ll never want to leave it.

Add some ambiance: If you’re someone who’s inspired by music, create a playlist of your favorite songs that help you focus. Or, if you’re someone who’s inspired by nature, try writing near a window with a view. Just don’t get too distracted by the birds singing and forget to write.

Get in the mood: Some writers find that lighting a candle or incense, or even using a specific type of pen, helps them get in the zone. So, if you have a specific ritual that helps you focus, do it.

But please don’t start making sacrifices to the Gods or anything.

Make it your own: Remember, the point of setting the right environment is to make it your own. If you’re someone who thrives on chaos and needs a messy desk to write, go for it.

But if you’re someone who needs a Zen-like environment, make it happen. The goal is to create a space where you feel comfortable and inspired. And if all else fails, build a fort out of pillows and blankets; it always works.

By experimenting and finding what works best for you, you can set the perfect environment to help you achieve flow state and take your writing to the next level.

And with that, let’s move on to the next step.

Set Goals

When it comes to setting goals for achieving flow state, it’s important to have a clear and specific objective in mind for your writing session. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Be specific: Instead of setting a general goal like “write a lot today,” set a specific goal like “write 2,000 words of my novel today or “Write a comedic scene that will make my beta readers laugh”

Be realistic: Set a goal that is challenging but achievable. Don’t set yourself up for failure by setting an impossible goal like “Write a novel in one day.”

Break it down: If you have a big goal, like finishing a novel, break it down into smaller, manageable chunks, like writing a certain number of words per day or finishing a specific chapter by the end of the week.

Like, “Today I’ll write the first chapter of my detective story.”

Use a timer: Set a timer for your writing sessions and challenge yourself to reach your goal before the timer goes off. Like, “I’ll write for 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break.”

Reward yourself: Once you reach your goal, reward yourself with something you enjoy, like a favorite snack or a short walk. Like “If I finish my blog post today, I’ll buy myself a donut.”

Remember, the key is to set specific, realistic, measurable goals that will keep you focused and motivated during your writing session.

And don’t forget to reward yourself; after all, a little bit of bribery never hurt anyone. Like giving yourself a mini celebration like “Yay, I finished my chapter; now it’s time to watch my favorite episode of “The Office.”

Setting specific, measurable goals can give you a clear direction and focus during your writing sessions, and when you reach those goals, it’s important to reward yourself, whether with a small treat or taking a break to relax. And don’t forget to have fun with it; after all, it’s about finding what works for you and makes you happy.

Incorporating Mindfulness and Meditation

Incorporating mindfulness and meditation practices into your writing routine can be a game changer when achieving flow state. Not only can it help you focus and reduce distractions, but it can also help you tap into your inner calm and creativity.

But, let’s be real, the thought of meditation might make you want to run for the hills or hide under your blanket. But don’t worry; incorporating mindfulness and meditation doesn’t have to be a snooze fest.

One great way to incorporate mindfulness and meditation is through guided meditations specifically designed for writers.

These meditations can help you focus on your breath, calm your mind, and tap into your creative energy. You can find these meditations on apps like Headspace or Calm, or on YouTube.

Another way to incorporate mindfulness and meditation is through “writing meditation.” This is when you set a timer for a specific time and spend that time writing whatever comes to mind without editing or judging yourself. This can help you let go of self-doubt or fear and tap into your subconscious for new and innovative ideas.

And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can try incorporating “moving meditation” into your writing routine. This can be anything from yoga to going for a walk. The key is to focus on your breath and the movement of your body, which can help you clear your mind and tap into your creative energy.

Incorporating mindfulness and meditation practices into your writing routine can help you achieve flow state and tap into your inner calm and creativity. And remember, it doesn’t have to be serious; you can make it fun and adapt it to your own style.

If you’re uncomfortable with traditional meditation, don’t be afraid to try something else, like dancing to your favorite song for 5 minutes before writing.

As always, it’s about finding what works best for you and what makes you happy.

In conclusion, flow state is like a secret superpower for writers, allowing them to access peak productivity and creativity.

The key to achieving flow state is to experiment and find what works for you, whether it’s setting the right environment, setting specific goals, minimizing distractions, like sacrificing your phone to the gods of concentration, incorporating mindfulness and meditation practices, like dancing to your favorite song for 5 minutes before writing, or finding a consistent writing routine, like writing at the same time every day, in the same spot, wearing the same socks.

And remember, don’t take it too seriously, have fun with it and enjoy the process. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to unlocking the secrets of flow state and producing your best work. Happy writing!



Lori Ballen

Lori's passion for blogging and commitment to empowering others is evident in her comprehensive, easy-to-follow articles.

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