Writing in Flow: Keys to Enhanced Creativity

By Susan K. Perry



Have you ever wished you could have more of those wonderful inspired writing sessions when time seems to disappear? You can. Guided by the dozens of top writers in Writing in Flow who share their private experiences and insights, you can learn to take more control over the sources of your creativity than you thought possible.

Whether you’re a novelist, poet, short-story writer, essayist, or creative nonfiction writer—whether you’re just starting out or are already an accomplished writer—you will learn ways to enter flow and enjoy writing more. This is the first and only book of its kind created especially for writers. 


“Perry is a wonderful guide and interviewer, juggling the voices of many writers to make concise points. I would strongly recommend the book to any aspiring or successful creative writers…. Would I recommend this book to psychologists? A more difficult question, but the answer is yes. And it’s a fun read.”
—James C. Kaufman, Ph.D., Journal of Creative Behavior

“If it is possible to capture the essence of flow, Perry has done it.  This would be a welcome companion on any writer’s bookshelf.  It’s the perfect mix of inspiration and perspiration.”
—Beth Amos (on www.barnesandnoble.com)

“Perry’s book is a real contribution to the creativity literature.”
—Sandra W. Russ, Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, April 2001

“Writing in Flow would be a welcome companion on any writer’s bookshelf. It’s the perfect mix of inspiration and perspiration.”
—Beth Amos, Barnes & Noble.com

“Perry’s text is a genuinely informative book that both describes the state of flow and provides a concrete road map for achieving it. . . .  The descriptions of flow and prescriptions for achieving it are as individual as the dozens of writers and poets she surveyed and interviewed at length. . . . What makes Perry’s text a fascinating read, however, is the glimpse it gives us into the habits of authors such as Jonathan Kellerman, Sue Grafton, and dozens of others. Their experiences are diverse, but the voyeuristic pleasure we get is exceptional. In all, Susan Perry presents us with an exhaustively researched and valuable book.”
—Jeff Leiper, Writer’s Block, Spring 2000 

Writing in Flow is a creative and yet practical work.  The ideas are nicely tied to the research, and the practical implications clearly explored.  In a sense this volume shows how the medium can be the message – it is a joy to read.”
—Mark Runco, Ph.D., Editor, Creativity Research Journal

“A writer’s greatest challenge is getting lost in the writing and entering that state some call ‘flow.’ Susan K. Perry helps writers negotiate that vital movement from ‘busy mind’ to ‘no mind’ where they can write with authenticity and real power.”
—Eric Maisel, Ph.D., psychotherapist and author of Deep Writing and Fearless Creating

“This volume is alive with the distinctive voices of great writers, preserved in the unobtrusive yet scintillating medium of Susan K. Perry’s own writing. Readers who have struggled with verse or prose will recognize the ring of truth in these descriptions. Those who are just curious to know what’s involved will have a chance to get a glimpse into the strange world where as yet untold stories gestate.”
—From the Foreword by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Ph.D., University of Chicago, author of the bestselling Flow

“The good news that Perry offers is that anyone can learn to enter flow more often and that there is not only one way to be in flow.  By seeing all the myriad and quixotic ways that writers write, this book can help readers recognize the common elements of flow so they can learn to do and trust what works for them.  If one is already motivated to write, Perry’s book can help.”
Foreword Magazine

“Unlike standard academic studies, Perry maintains a connection with the mysteries of creativity.  She avoids quantifying the life out of the writing experience, while presenting an objective study of subjective experience.  It’s a fine line, and she walks it with the grace of a high-wire artist. . . .   If you find strength in the company of writers sharing experience and insight, Flow is a necessary treasure.”
—Nessa Flax, Freelance Success (online)

“Chock full of interesting quotes and quips…. Each interviewee’s personality comes through clearly in their quotes, and any professional writer is sure to find a bit of themselves in these chapters.”
—Jade Walker, Inscriptions (online)

“If you are interested in other writers’ takes on writing in flow, or would like to know how to enter this state more often, this is a must-read.”
—Mariska Stamenkovic, Keystrokes Magazine (online)

“Writers at any level of experience will benefit from Perry’s insight into creativity and the mental process that occurs during the act of writing.  This is not another ‘how to’ book that serves up a rehash of common do’s and don’ts of how to be a writer.  This book gets right into the heads of 76 regularly published, successful writers.  Perry picks their brains, like a scientist with tweezers, extracting gems of wisdom from the gray matter. . . .  The style is comfortable, warm, and very readable.  . . .  the feeling of relaxing over coffee with the author or eavesdropping on her conversation with all the best writers of the day.”
—J.B. Justice, RestStop Writers’ Newsletter (online)

“Each chapter ends with a page or two of ‘keys’ that give readers suggestions… Because these tidbits are based on strategies used by real writers, they usually sound fresh, practical, and ingenious – unlike the stale, mechanical advice of so many how-to books.  Helpful as well as enjoyable to read.”
—Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Psychology and the Arts (newsletter of Division 10, American Psychological Association)

“This book inspires and explains.  It is a must read for every writer, no matter whether you write poetry, articles, novels, or ad copy.”
—Dana Nourie, Writer’s Guidelines Database (online):

“What I like most about his book is Chapter 8, where I can compare my own experiences with those of the ‘rich and famous.’  ‘Writing in Flow’ explains, in glorious detail, the what and why of flow.  It also offers a ton of ‘insider info’ on how you can develop your own method of getting into this highly productive state when you write.  If you’re interested in how the creative mind works, you’ll like this book.”
Writers’ Exchange (online)

“This is an enjoyable read and valuable learning aide for developing writers.  Perry also provides answers to questions from students and friends throughout the text of the book.  Writing in Flow is an excellent and unique guide for enhancing your creativity and inspiring yourself to write regularly.”
Writers Write (The Internet Writing Journal)

“Many writers will want to buy this book to help them achieve and maintain a sense of flow in their own work. … Despite beginning as a doctoral thesis, Writing in Flow is an interesting and practical contribution to the practice of writing.  I say this with admiration. … I think most writers will enjoy the panel discussion format of this book.  Better yet, it’s more like sitting in a huge booth at a café with 76 writers you can not help but admire.  This book feels real.  There is no phony-baloney secret formula to success.”
—Rodney L. Merrill, Writer Online  

“It’s like having a sister’s knowledgeable, earnest math-loving friend lead you through calculus; you’re learning a lot in a friendly manner…. Writing in Flow is a good book, an interesting book, and a useful book.”
—Daniel Argent, Creative Screenwriting

“A really exciting book. So many people want to be writers, and what you’re looking at is the thing that prevents them.”
—Lawrence E. Shapiro, Ph.D., president and founder of The Center for Applied Psychology, and author of How To Raise a Child with a High EQ.

Writing in Flow, Susan Perry’s major work on flow, that creative zero-time trance that writers enter when they are working their hardest (and most would say best), is one of those brilliant simplicities that illuminate our lives from time to time. It is simplicity because Perry makes it so with her common sense approach to research, her use of unexpurgated interview, and her relaxed but pointed prose style. It is brilliant because she, for the first time that I am aware of, has collected and examined the state of flow, something mentioned in passing by scores of writers in various contexts, but something never excerpted as focus of serious psychological and aesthetic investigation.   She has assembled an extremely interesting and yes, even entertaining book, one that I am sure will become standard reading for any writer or anyone interested in writing. Writing in Flow is simply, brilliantly, a great book.”
—Frank X. Gaspar, author of three volumes of poetry, recipient of the Morse Prize, the Anhinga Prize for Poetry, and the Brittingham Prize for Poetry, and a Writing in Flow interviewee.

“It’s about time.”
—The author’s father


Publisher: Writer's Digest Books
Available in: Hardcover, Paperback

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