I recently experienced a patch where in I just had an urge to write and write. And when I sat down on my laptop, indeed I went on and on writing things I always wanted to. I felt like I experienced something that is opposite of writer's block. Is this a thing? Is there a term in English for this?

  • A moment of inspiration or a flash of brilliance are two ways this phenomenon is sometimes described (although those terms could be applied to just about any creative endeavor, not just writing).
    – J.R.
    Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 2:37
  • 1
    Writer's fountain? Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 2:37
  • Many related concepts are mentioned in A person who gives out too many extraneous details
    – Mitch
    Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 16:12

4 Answers 4


Yes, it's a thing. It's called flow. In the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, the author, Susan Cain, writes:

Flow is an optimal state in which you feel totally engaged in an activity—whether long-distance swimming or songwriting, sumo wrestling or sex. In a state of flow, you're neither bored nor anxious, and you don't question your own adequacy. Hours pass without your noticing. The key to flow is to pursue an activity for its own sake, not for the rewards it brings...

[According to influential psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi,] in flow, "a person could work around the clock for days on end, for no better reason than to keep on working."

  • There is also hypergraphia, which is the overwhelming urge to write. However, you don't seem to describe that.
    – JLG
    Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 4:03
  • And also graphorrhea: writing in excessive amounts, sometimes incoherently. It has been equated with the opposite of writer's block but it's not really.
    – Jim
    Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 4:11
  • Thanks for the answer. I went through the wikipedia articles you linked to. Scary. I am pretty sure I did not experience any of those conditions. I wrote only about 4 pages in a sitting. The experience was almost unreal. As if my thoughts were lined up like a train and they were just coming one by one as smooth as a train arriving at a station.
    – Ketan
    Commented Sep 13, 2012 at 1:22

Zoning is a term sometimes used for this. The wikipedia flow article mentions several related terms: in the moment, present, in the zone, on a roll, wired in, in the groove, on fire, in tune, centered, and singularly focused. I've heard or read all of these used in the required sense, except for the last one; and the first one, in the moment, I usually think of as meaning fully aware of what's going on, rather than being in the zone. Some other terms used to describe the flow-state are up, on, and channeling. [Eg: “When it is my turn to sing karaoke, I am going to channel Ray Charles.” - wiktionary]


Perhaps a writing jag. American Heritage defines jag as

A period of overindulgence in an activity; a spree: a shopping jag; a crying jag

Collins defines it as

a period of uncontrolled activity

An alternative is a writing binge. Cambridge defines binge as

an occasion when an activity is done in an extreme way, esp. eating, drinking, or spending money: He admits to having an occasional ice-cream binge.


Some great attempts to define, clearly none actually exist in the literature to define the precise nature of the original question (which is really sup rising), so I'm proposing we universally adopt the proposal above "writer's fountain'

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