What is the holy grail for writers? Is it the tease of a million dollar contract? Maybe it's the vision of booksignings and lines of readers waiting for that one moment when their books are signed. Writers have any number of reasons why they pursue their stories and struggle to throw them down on the page, but for many it's the illusive state of "flow." Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who wrote the classic work FLOW: The Psychology Experience of Optimal Experience, defined flow as the state where people experience "the suspension of time" and "complete absorption."
That is what I'm seeking when I talk about reconnecting with my story's world and with the characters. Every time I've gained that state exciting things have happened on the page. Dialogue sharpens, characters come alive, and the world I'm watching becomes the world I'm in. I last achieved flow in December 2008 during my 53K word marathon and it came late in the game. I want it again.