Many people are familiar with Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi’s concept of creative flow, that state when the pleasure one feels is perfectly aligned with the work one is doing. In flow, there is no need for external pressure, neither reward nor threat; one simply hums along, entirely absorbed in one’s endeavor. I spent almost the whole day in flow a week ago, in the finishing stages of my novel Skinners, and the flow extended along through most of the week and into this week.
I’ve been able to use my more flexible time in the summer to get a lot of different projects done, and some of them needed priority. But I was glad and relieved to finally get into the flow zone with the novel. My good friend Bernard Perroud, the cover artist, is in his flow zone too! I’m tempted to provide here a peek at his cover image… but I want to maintain suspense, darn it! Maintaining suspense is what a good novelist needs to do anyway, no? What I can and do want to say is that I’m happy to report the novel will be out and available next month!
Perhaps there is some research somewhere about the influence nudity may have on getting into the flow zone. I suppose it depends on the relative comfort with nudity of the person in question. In my case as a naturist, and especially here in the middle of the Northern Hemisphere summer, nudity is always a positive boost for getting into flow. Plus, there’s the fact that I’m writing about people who also happen to be nude as well – one of the perks of naturist fiction.
I have a family road trip to accomplish soon, and when I return I will be focused on the proofing, formatting and all the nitty-gritty of the final details before putting Skinners out into the world. My target is mid-to-late August for release.
I close with a line from the Sea Witch, one of the main characters in Skinners. In this quote, she is not talking about getting into the flow, but rather about the freedom of living without clothes. Yet her words make me think that the two are very similar phenomena. 😉
Look. There are… other ways to live. You’ve seen this already. Do you let someone else tell you what you should like to eat, or what you should like to sing? I never let anyone tell me, in all my years, that I cannot reveal my body to the waves and to the wind, to the sand and out to the stars. And it does not matter to me if I am alone or among others when I do it. And you—you and everyone else—should have the same freedom.