Yesterday, someone directed me to these “flow state” videos on YouTube. Right away, the description of what the flow state was resonated with something I have felt when I’ve really been in the groove when I am writing something. In that moment, everything just seems to fall away from me and I really can’t even feel any external sensation of sitting in my chair or typing. It actually feels like I am pulled out of my body. Getting there is so very very rare, but when it happens it is a feeling like no other. Almost like you are floating up to the ceiling. After a while, you come back and realize an hour is gone.
The first video I watched talked about that sensation and my ears perked up. It was neat to hear that it’s not just me who has had this experience when conditions are just right.
The video then went on to talk about how you can maintain this state of mind when you follow the narrow intersection of challenge vs. skill level. As long as you inch each one up a little bit at a time, your productivity takes the path of a wave, instead of jutting up into anxiety and shutdown or dropping down into boredom and apathy.
I think it was a good piece of information to get, especially now as I’m trying to start another podcast with a different topic and I am realizing that the learning curve is very steep and it just results in total shutdown. I bit off more than I could chew and expected everything to be perfect, with the metric of success being that people would download, comment, and love the content. When at the time, I didn’t even like doing the content. It felt forced.
The opposite end of that is when I have been writing copy for law firms, I am apathetic. I am bored. I know nobody but Google is reading it for SEO hits, and all I care about is the potential income. When they are slow to pay, I wonder why I’m even bothering. The money is the only joy I get out of writing that kind of stuff, and if they aren’t paying up, there is literally no motivation to continuing to write for them. Among other reasons I am sick of writing these kinds of posts is because I wrote 1,000 words about why dogs eat grass and got a rejection. The reason for the rejection was for “tone”. I listed a lot of biological reasons why dogs eat grass (having the experience of having had several dogs in my life) and was told “Dogs just like the taste.” Yeah, 1,000 words that would just sound like an Apple Jacks commercial. “We just do!”
Anyway, boredom. Ennui. Appathy. Sometimes the copywriting job feels like a French art film. Today I have a 2000 word post on trucking, which I hope is more fulfilling and actually pays. Later today I’m going to be working on improving my skillset and challenging myself. The goal for the evening is to record a podcast episode. Maybe work on my website too.