Your Zone of Magic

An alternative look at your zone of genius

Rose Ernst
The Startup
Published in
4 min readSep 21, 2019


Photo by Leo Cardelli from Pexels

“Creativity is an energy. It’s a precious energy, and it’s something to be protected. A lot of people take for granted that they’re a creative person, but I know from experience, feeling it in myself, it is a magic; it is an energy. And it can’t be taken for granted.”— Ava DuVernay

I looked at the clock. I did a double-take.

The developmental editing project only took me 60 minutes?

And I’m sure the client will love the results?

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls this Flow:

“The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times… The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.”

The eight characteristics of flow are:

  1. Complete concentration on the task;
  2. Clarity of goals and reward in mind and immediate feedback;
  3. Transformation of time (speeding up/slowing down);
  4. The experience is intrinsically rewarding;
  5. Effortlessness and ease;
  6. There is a balance between challenge and skills;
  7. Actions and awareness are merged, losing self-conscious rumination;
  8. There is a feeling of control over the task.

Everyone (hopefully) has these moments at work. For freelancers, writers, editors, and creatives, these moments are golden, not only because you’re living your purpose and enjoying it, but because you usually get paid more. You get paid more because you’re so good at this task it takes half the time it would take someone else and produces double the results.

And if you’re not getting paid more, then it’s time to revisit your pricing structure — which is not the subject of this article.