Hone the Zone

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My mind is racing. Could it be new synapses forming? That possibility is a slim one, I think. Things are dying in there (my short term memory, for one) along with my DNA.
So what’s going on?

The sensation is not ‘fight or flight’ but, rather, a thrilling surge of energy from an idea. Is it a new idea? One that no one ever had before? Very unlikely. I am of average intelligence – I probably won’t ever invent anything or solve the problems of society. So why am I so excited by this idea?

Good question. The idea is small, regarding a scene in the book I am writing. I believe that this state of brewing ideas ( l call it the Zeal Zone) is one we are meant to live in most of our waking hours. Too bad I can count on one hand the times I have hung out there in the past month.

Leah and I had an interesting discussion about our ideas during a recent MWC meeting. We were concerned that the books we are so enthusiastically working on are not original. Leah stumbled upon a book that looked a lot like what she envisioned for her finished volume. Likewise, I knew of more than a few children’s books about characters similar to mine. Should we abandon our stories, until we come up with something more remarkable?

To Leah, it was obvious that my book was unique, because I had not written it before. She wanted to see what happened to my characters, even though they weren’t the first of their kind. It was equally obvious to me that Leah’s book did not exist out there. Someone had addressed the topic, but she had not, in her voice with her ideas. I wanted to hear them, expressed by the connections her mind was racing with and firing off.

Are we delusional to be excited by the possibility of our unoriginal ideas moving others in some way? I don’t think so. I believe that time spent in the Zeal Zone fuels us, regardless of where its fruits land. Those stirring sparks are not just connections we are making inside our heads, but they are linking us to one another. Even a small sip of that nectar is powerful.

Carolyn and Leah
Writing Exercise: Write a few reflective sentences describing your Zeal Zone. How often do you get to hang out there?

2 comments on “Hone the Zone

  1. What good insight and a wonderful piece about something all writers struggle with. I don’t feel so alone now. :) I often struggle with feeling unoriginal and you have encouraged me. My biggest mistake is when I don’t stop and jot down ideas while they’re swimming by in my head. My Zeal Zone is like a river and sometimes some very interesting things float by. I am learning that I won’t remember them in the same way later on if I don’t stop, wade in, snatch them up and save them. (Oops, that was just a stick. haha)

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