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Daily Prompt: The Zone

Daily Prompt: The Zone

by michelle w. on June 2, 2013

Tell us about your favorite way to get lost in a simple activity — running, chopping vegetables, folding laundry, whatever. What’s it like when you’re in “the zone”?


Ah yes, the “zone”. We all have one I think. I know I do. In fact I have several.

First one is when I read a really good book. I’m in my “book zone”. You know the one where you are so immersed in the book that everything else just falls away. When I’m in that zone I don’t hear anything outside of it. I don’t hear people talking to me, I don’t hear the tv, I don’t think of any problems I may have going on. Nothing. Zilch.

courtest of
Courtesy of

I developed this zone early on. People have gotten irritated with me because I would go into the ‘book zone’. My mom used to get so angry! My ex did too. They couldn’t figure out how I could just ignore everything when I read. It was easy! Maybe they should have thought that they were the reason I zoned out. Nah, they wouldn’t understand.

When I taught myself to paint years ago I developed the “painting zone”. This is where I crank up the music loud and get into whatever I was painting. I love to do animals and peaceful scenery. I started first with oils then moved over to acrylics because I just don’t have the patience to wait for oils to dry.

I taught myself how to shade, highlight, shadow, and anything else oils can do, just using acrylics. It dries fast so a painter has to learn tricks to do some things. But I am one stubborn woman and when I want to learn something …… well I learn it!

(c) JLPhillips
My painting of a wolf

I have painted walls, ceilings, doors and windows. Actually anything that stands still long enough I will paint! In one house I was living at in Texas I had a really small, windowless bathroom. I painted a blue sky with fluffy clouds on the ceiling and a garden on the walls. Around the shower walls I painted flower pots with bright cheery flowers in them. It looked like a shelf with flower pots on it. It turned out great! I wish I still had the pictures of it.

This last year or so I have developed a new zone. It’s my “writing zone”. It’s the happy place I go to when I’m in the middle of writing a short story, or flash fiction, or working on my novel. It’s very similar to my reading zone. I tend to block everything out as I write.

It isn’t that hard to do. I must have things very quiet when I write. The complete opposite when I paint. No music, no tv, just quiet. Then I can play the ‘movie’ in my head. That’s how I see my writing, as a movie or a snippet of film in my head. If it doesn’t work that way, it certainly isn’t going to work when I write it. My writing has to be believable. People have to talk like they would if real people were talking. I might be writing Sci-Fi, or fantasy, or something else, but if things don’t work or sound the way they should then how is that good writing?




That’s my theory anyway.  Now I’m off to get into the ‘zone’, just not sure which one. 😉


15 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: The Zone

  1. I’m so impressed with your painting ability. We are so much alike, Jackie. I tune everything out when I read, too. Hours go by before I know it. I was an art major in school, and I love art but never pursued it as an adult. The only painting I kept was an acrylic – my favorite medium. 😉 As for writing, I can do noise, and I do listen to music – even loud music, but I, too, see the movie play out in my head. Sometimes I realize I’ve just been sitting there watching the movie in my head, and I have to hurry up and type what I saw. I always thought I was adopted; you must be my sister. 🙂


    1. Another thing we have in common! I always thought I was adopted too! haha. Sis it’s great to find you! 🙂

      I love painting just as much as I do writing. Darn it, a 3 way tie for the zones! 😉


  2. You are a talented painter Jackie! Or rather an “all-round-creative”! My ‘book zone” is identical (as my hubby, he thinks I can’t hear and may buy hearing aids for my b-day), my painting zone is still being paved, very rough, it lacks the “t” layer (: and my writing zone – well it might get there one day. But you are already multi-zoning 🙂


    1. I have faith in that you will be multi-zoning soon yourself. 🙂 Ah yes, husbands don’t seem to understand the reading zone. hehehe. I love your poetry, it’s usually so uplifting. So I think your writing zone is already in place.


  3. I love the painting zone. Like you’ve been transported somewhere else entirely. I used to take an oil painting class, 10 minutes in and I would be in “the zone”. My teacher would sneak up (sneak up, stand next to, what’s the difference?) on me and I’d get so startled my paint brush almost always flew out of my hand somewhere.


    1. I never took painting lessons, but if I did the same probably would happen. Don’t you hate it when they sneak up on you? 😉 But, yes it’s like you are on some other world. Just you and your painting.


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