# Creative work requires clear goals and feedback to become a flow activity
Creative work is inherently challenging and require skills, which is one of the The prerequisites of flow experience. Creative works are normally open-ended and they don’t inherently have clear goals and immediate feedback, therefore creative works are unfortunately not a flow activity by default. Writing, for example, may last for more than a week or year without clear finish line nor feedback.
In creative works, you must develop your own goal to understand if you’re doing good or bad to enter the flow state. Designing your workflow is one way to convert your creative work into flow activities as they can provide immediate feedback (Effective workflow forms positive feedback loop).
Mihaly, Flow (pp. 55 - 56).
[…] less a person learns to set goals and to recognise and gauge feedback in such activities, she will not enjoy them.
In some creative activities, where goals are not clearly set in advance, a person must develop a strong personal sense of what she intends to do. The artist might not have a visual image of what the finished painting should look like, but when the picture has progressed to a certain point, she should know whether this is what she wanted to achieve or not. And a painter who enjoys painting must have internalised criteria for “good” or “bad” so that after each brush stroke she can say: “Yes, this works; no, this doesn’t.” Without such internal guidelines, it is impossible to experience flow.
Mihaly, Flow (p. 72).
When describing optimal experience in this book, we have given as examples such activities as making music, rock climbing, dancing, sailing, chess and so forth. What makes these activities conductive to flow is that they were designed to make optimal experience easier to achieve. They have rules that require the learning of skills, they set up goals, they provide feedback, they make control possible.
- Zettelkasten makes writing a flow activity
- Writing is a creative work, and Creative work requires clear goals and feedback to become a flow activity. Writing may take up weeks or years, and it’s hard to know if you’re making a good progress without goals and feedback. If you practice Zettelkasten, you can set your goal up by writing an X number of zettels per day. Luhmann, for example, was estimated to write six notes a day.