Writing Familiar Topics Helps Flow
One of the best ways to enter flow – and sustain ongoing attempts – is to write about topics you know. This #write31days challenge about flow is something I’ve worked on since I was 16. It started with my excellent Advanced Biology teacher, Mr. Brightly, who wanted us to do a study using a subject.
Finding a Subject to Study
If you enter flow by writing what you know, the subject often will appear in your path. My subject happened to crawl right into my path! My baby sister, Maribeth, became my subject. She was just learning to talk and a prefect fit for the linguistics study. I measured all of her repeated consonant-vowel combinations like ba, da, ma, ri, among others, for an hour a day noting the frequency. Also, I tried to determine their meaning. The findings I recall were mostly based on family:
- “ma” was repeated most frequently as an expression for our mother
- “ri” was second as her truncated version of my name, “mah-RE-sah”.
- “da” came in third, as a way to call – an entertain – our dad.
And the Point is?
The point of this illustration is not so much the study itself, but the subject herself. My baby sister was six months old. I already lived with her. We sat around the table – she in a highchair- each night for dinner. I had an assignment that might have been very hard if I hadn’t looked around – and down – to see my subject cruise right by. The observation was for more than a diary entry; it was for coursework. Now it could be used as an essay, a memoir piece, or, you guessed it, a blog post!
Entering Flow from What You Know
Anyone can enter flow by simply writing what they know. It can be for business promotion and advertisement, (Time to make the donuts. I made the donuts, The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup, I am stuck on BandAids brand cause BandAids stuck on me). Using what you know can help you write a winning grant proposal. Your constituents may relate to your funder through something common, say soccer, which has global impact. And you can even write what you know to grab the attention of the committee or department head in a status report. In doing so, you set a friendly tone to a meeting by discussing the upcoming holiday season.
Difficult subjects break down into essential chunks of friendly information once you approach them from a point of familiarity. Give it a try today. Give that staff memo a personal touch by remembering something special about the week – I’m sure we are ready for some hot apple cider from the Keurig due to the crisp fall air. Thanks, Jan, for bringing in donuts this week, too – and see if that doesn’t align you with additional flow. You will be able to complete the job with humanistic flare.
Here’s to Growing Your Flow,