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On My Final Assignment

For my final assignment, I wrote a twenty-thousand-word novel excerpt. It was an enlightening experience. Not only was it a test of determination and will. But it also tested my creative ability within a strict time frame. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. My teacher loved it. She was full of praise and graded it highly. But perhaps more importantly, I loved it. I enjoyed the process of writing it. And I was satisfied with the final product, which is kind of rare since I’ve always been my harshest critic.

I think what stood out to me the most was my experience with a creative flow state. It’s difficult to put it into words, which is a bit ironic since I’m supposed to be a writer. But words are merely concepts. Little symbols we use to encapsulate and describe our experience. And some of the things we experience are simply beyond words. Sure, it’s certainly possible to describe what it feels like to be in love. It’s certainly possible to describe an intense psychedelic experience. But the words can only paint a picture. And a limited one at that. For me, the flow state is an experience beyond words. But for my own sake, I’ll do my best to describe it – or rather, explain what I remember about experiencing it.

I think the defining characteristic was that my mind’s eye was open. Of course, it’s always open to an extent. Otherwise, it would be impossible to imagine and create. But I remember it being far more open than usual. I remember seeing the story, scenes and characters vividly in my mind. All I had to do was transcribe them in person. The chatter in my mind was quiet, and I was focused entirely on the task at hand. It processed the visions in my mind. And it chopped and changed them accordingly. Initially, words and sentences were channelled onto the page rather than squeezed out of my mind. Naturally, I’d go over what was written and make changes. Sometimes I’d shuffle words and sentences around. Other times I’d remove content and re-write more. But no matter what the changes were, they seemed to happen effortlessly. I know it sounds a little wishy-washy. I’ll be the first to admit that. But I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t the truth. There was some kind of internal effort and mind-chatter happening. But instead of swooshing around like an ocean in a storm, it was calm, gentle, focused, and effective.