I needed to find a way to get into a flow, or “the zone” with my writing. The routine I sought to establish would enable me to easily exhibit my strengths and talents while also challenging myself to step outside of my comfort zone.
I thought back to my undergrad years as a Music History student, specifically to a class called music critiquing and writing. Here, I learned how to write critically about music. The one area where I excelled was ethnographic writing, a style that involved interviewing musicians about their backgrounds, their music experiences, and where they wanted to take their music. I transformed those interviews into long prose, and by college standards, that was 4 pages double spaced and submitted the completed paper to my professor. I wanted to apply this to my blogging since I could take something that I truly owned and make it even better.
My first ethnographically styled interview would be with my piano teacher from childhood, Isabella Eredita-Johnson. The story would be about the 7th anniversary of Opera Night, a.k.a. Opera Night, Long Island. Besides getting a great story for Music Historian, I also discovered that sharing the final draft of the article before publishing with my interview subjects created a sense of trust and confidence between the blogger and the interviewee. I decided to carry this practice throughout every exchange I would have with each person whose story I would share on my blog.
The year 2011 is when I made a plan to find my flow
- contact the subject, invite them to an interview;
- Interview the person by phone, Google chat, in-person, whatever channel worked;
- take notes from that interview and transform it into an interview article;
- edit the story;
- have the subject review a final draft for accuracy and fact-checking purposes; and
- upon getting the final approval from the interviewee, publish the news on Music Historian.
I fully entered my flow in steps three and four. Five and six really proved to be a hit with some artists. One artist I interviewed that year enjoyed my story of their band and their music so much, they shared it with their network. You will find out who this artist is if you just follow my Music Historian page on Facebook or follow me on Twitter. Most notably, this plan felt full proof for quite a while: I was now publishing one major full-length interview article each month.
1-2 The definition of flow, or “The Zone,” refers to “The mental state in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement and enjoyment” as described by American-Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Santos, L. (2018). Stuff that really makes us happy. . Retrieved from https://www.coursera.org/learn/the-science-of-well-being/home/week/5
Santos, L. (2018). Stuff that really makes us happy. . Retrieved from https://www.coursera.org/learn/the-science-of-well-being/home/week/5