In the Zone

We made it!

This is the last day of April and the last letter of the alphabet, which means the final post in the 2013 A to Z Challenge. Again, a big thank you to the challenge founder, Arlee Bird, I have had a blast this month.

Originally, I planned on writing a lame post with Zzzzzz as the title as I’m knackered and plan on sleeping for the next 7 days.

But, I didn’t like the idea of a cop-out post and flicked through the dictionary, desperate for another Z title. I read all the words out loud to see if anything inspired me and as I moved beyond Zone, my wife stopped me and said, “why don’t you write a post about when you’re in the zone.”

Why didn’t I think of that?

Over the course of the month, I written posts about forensic techniques to inspire your crime writing, posts about festivals and writing techniques that help me get into the writing zone. Challenges like this and NaNo help push you towards a target or an end goal, but does a target help get you into the zone?

I’m not sure that it does.

The A to Z Challenge has made me write daily, like NaNo does, but I wouldn’t say I’ve been in the zone whilst writing the posts. Few of them were written in one draft and when I’m in the zone, I don’t stop writing for anybody.

As a planner, I think I head into the zone when I feel at one with my characters. They tell me what they want to do next and I pour those words onto my screen. When I’m happy with the plot and everything is in place, that’s when I’m in the zone.

Whether it be a blog post, the next chapter of my book or editing the previous one, when I can concentrate on the subject and my muse is by my side, I can hit the zone and ride like the wind for as long as I can. NaNo and other challenges help, but without knowing my characters and without my planning, I don’t always reach the zone. When I do, there is nothing like it. πŸ™‚

How do you get into the right ZONE for writing?



This is myΒ ZΒ post for the A to Z Blogging Challenge. A list of all my A to Z Blogging Challenge posts are to be foundΒ here.

So, at the beginning of this challenge I had the crazy idea to post photographs inspired by letters of the alphabet. Like it wasn’t already difficult enough to write a post about the alphabet, I had to go and complicate things.

Now the challenge is over I can admit that I had photographs of Abe, my much-loved and much missed cat, and Billy our first family cat lined up and NOTHING ELSE!

I had nothing and yet committed myself to this CRAZY Challenge on two fronts. Thankfully, I take a lot of photographs and my pictures folder on my laptop and my printer/scanner being on hand to include some older photographs from storage in our loft, meant I’ve managed to hit all the letters.

Well, all except this last one. Today’s photographs are from what this post was originally going to be:Β Zzzzzzzzz. Snooze time and a couple of picture of our Munchie is full-on nap mode.

Sleeping Munchie

Sleeping Munchie

Munch curled up next to me yesterday

Munch curled up next to me yesterday

About Pete Denton

I'm a writer working my way through the redrafts of a British crime novel. I also write short stories, flash fiction and some screen writing. Check out my blog for more.
This entry was posted in A to Z Blogging Challenge, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to In the Zone

  1. Joanne says:

    Hi Pete
    I just want to say thanks for your a-z posts. I looked forward to them. The photos were a nice touch. I will continue to follow your blog .
    Writing Under Fire

  2. I would definitely say that Munch is in the zone, at least the kitty zone!

  3. Loved your cats, but your thoughts even more. In the zone for me means not being aware of where the time goes when I’m writing – it doesn’t happen all the time, but often enough to know that I love it! The longest period of time was about 6 hours, and ended only when I got hungry. Thanks for sharing your journey.

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks, Noelle. Six hours is a great zone to be in. Mine usually last a couple of hours if I’m lucky, but I ride that wave when I can πŸ™‚

  4. I get in the zone by rocking it with a great scene and lots of funny dialogue. When my characters are having a great conversation, I’m right there with them.

    Thanks for your A-Z, and congratulations on finishing!

  5. “Sun spots are the best!” Prrrrrr!

  6. Just been flicking through your wonderful photographs πŸ™‚

    Well done! You did it!!!! πŸ™‚


  7. My cat curls up beside me like that when I’m using my laptop all the time. Then I end up sitting in one spot too long because I don’t want to make her move.
    I need an empty house to get in the zone.

  8. Great post, Pete, and yes … we made it!
    To get in the zone … helps if I stare out the window and let images/scenes play in my mind’s eye for a little while. I spend a lot of time, though, just siting in front of the computer, starting with a sentence and just go from there.

    It’s been fun coming in here and reading your posts, all very interesting.

  9. Yvonne Lewis says:

    Congratulations in completing the A to Z Challenge.


  10. Congratulations on completing this challenge successfully πŸ™‚

    I tend to slip into ‘the zone’ more on accident than on purpose. I wish I knew the trigger because then I could do it more often lol but, alas, I don’t.

  11. jmmcdowell says:

    The zone is elusive for me. I can’t control it at all. But when I’m there, I love the place!

  12. Mart Dawson says:

    congratulations on completing the challenge. You earned your 7 days sleep.

  13. I get in the zone by waking up and realizing that I need to think of something smart to post. Zone is preferred but not mandatory for me. Your cat is a sweetheart!

  14. EllaDee says:

    I love the zone, when the words bypass my brain, and the muses communicate direct with my fingertips. But I’m also learning to enjoy the craft of writing posts and short stories sans zone, more of a challenge with corresponding sense of accomplishment.
    You impressed me with the quality of your A-Z challenge posts, and that you did it. Most of all I’m happy you finished with pics of Munchie πŸ™‚

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thank you. I want to make sure I posted properly during the month. I was a slog at times, but glad I made it!

      I had to end with pictures of him. He demanded it πŸ™‚

  15. bronbloxham says:

    Congrats and big high five on getting through the challenge in one piece. I have really enjoyed reading your posts and look forward to stopping by and reading some more of your flash fiction – no pressure though! I am with Munchie, up for a nap or two! πŸ™‚

  16. mamabeanablog says:

    I was just going to post You Tube videos for ZZ Top and only type, Enjoy! I didn’t think I was going to make this last post! We did it! It was great reading you blogs. I plan on rereading them because I know they will help me with my writing. Enjoy the month of May! πŸ™‚

  17. Gwen says:

    To get in the zone I have to open something I’ve written and begin by rereading it – especially if I’m avoiding writing! Sometimes reading a great novel by one of my favorite authors will also unexpectedly put me in the zone.

    I really enjoy your posts and writing style. Looking forward to more. πŸ™‚

  18. katkasia says:

    Don’t you love being in the zone? It’s like being a kite, catching a strong wind. I would say that nothing gets you into the zone better than having a very limited amount of time! Somehow you need to be much more focussed all of a sudden.

  19. Woo-hoo! Challenge complete

  20. Accidentally hit post before I was done . . . you deserve some exclamation points for making it to the end! !!!!!

  21. cassmob says:

    The cats are taking care of the zzzzzs for you. Our much loved boy has just returned from being MIA for 7 weeks – we’re ecstatic!

    In the Zone? A good topic but as I don’t write fiction as you do it’s a bit more variable. I guess it would be when I wake up with a post almost fully-formed in my mind and get absorbed by it all.

    Great work on both the photo and story front Pete. I’ve often commented then thought, whoops I forgot to mention the photos.

    Congratulations and thanks for visiting my blog so often.

    Pauleen at Tropical Territory
    A to Z 2013

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks. I enjoyed looking through all my old photographs to find them for the posts. I definitely learned a lot about Australia through your A to Z πŸ™‚

    • Pete Denton says:

      I also meant to say I’m glad your cat returned. I know what it’s like to have them missing so I’m relieved for you that his tour or wherever is over πŸ™‚

  22. Munchie’s so cute.

    Congrats on finishing the challenge.

  23. Kourtney Heintz says:

    It’s when I look up at the clock and realize an hour elapsed in what felt like 5 minutes that I know I was in the zone. πŸ˜‰ It’s usually several minutes into writing when something clicks and I’m right there in my story world. πŸ™‚ Cool Z post!

  24. Lori D says:

    See, leave it to a wife to inspire a husband with just one word. Hee, hee. Looks like Munchie was definitely in the zone … the nap zone. Enjoyed the read.

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