The Flow

This is an pretty old post from my blog, which has been preserved in case its content is of any interest. You might want to go back to the homepage to see some more recent stuff.

So I spent my day caffeinated up to the eyeballs, loud music playing, churning out documentation until I started spamming Twitter with all-caps weirdness and I started wanting the phrase “COFFEE FOR THE COFFEE GOD! MUGS FOR THE MUG THRONE!” emblazoned on my coffee mug and, frankly, my soul. (Thanks @Bobolequiff.)

@HolyHaddock later tweeted about his much more restful afternoon, but while I can appreciate it being nice, it just seems so much less… epic.

There’s no sensation, for me, like finally achieving the hyperactive nirvana of flow.

It takes caffeine, of course – four cups of strong coffee over the course of the day, each one timed to mitigate the crash from the last. It takes music – the kind of music that doesn’t give a damn about genre or technique, but is brutally designed to hot-weld your eardrums to your adrenal gland with lightning at 150 beats per minute. It takes focus – a single task to be done, no distractions except for the continual background process of the internet’s pulse.

It just accelerates, never stopping. Athletes talk about “hitting the wall”, you reach a point where it hurts so much you just can’t find a way to carry on, until at last you crack it. But there’s none of that, because it’s all in your mind and your mind is hot-wired. It’s a single white-hot moment that lasts for hours but feels like microseconds, where ideas escape your brain at a billion degrees Kelvin and etch themselves into reality.

Sure, I’ll probably explode in a shower of caffeine and adrenaline when I’m about 30. But for now, screw restful afternoons. Eyes wide open, brain set to overdrive. It’s like feeling alive, only more so.

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