Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Writing Rituals

Last night, I was sitting up quite late with my notebook, handwriting parts of the story I’m currently working on, a cup of green tea by my side. The only sounds were the soft whirr of my fan and the croaking of summer frogs outside. No cars, no alarms, no radios. It felt like the whole world was asleep. As far as writing situations go, it was pretty much perfect.

But if I waited for these situations in which to write, I’d get a heck of a lot less done. Like earlier yesterday, I was standing at a busstop, cars zipping by, and I was scribbling things in a notebook.

However, I know there are writers who swear by certain rituals to get them in the writing groove. For some, it’s aromatic candles, for others it’s a certain kind of music or even a certain place. These writers are just as productive as me, which fascinates me given the difficulty of creating that ‘perfect’ writing time/space.

So, that’s what I’d like to discuss today – writing rituals, their importance, and how you build them into your routines. Do you have a ritual, and is it something that you feel is necessary to kick-start your writing everyday? Or is it something you only pull out when you need that extra push?

7 comments :

Milady Insanity said...

Nope. I don't do that any more.

I write on the train, at Starbucks, during long lunch breaks at school, whilst flying on planes...

Sure, I prefer to write at home, with my special cup at my desk, but you use what you've got.

Emma Sinclair said...

I guess I only use rituals if I'm really stuck. When I'm stuck, I'm willing to try anything!

And usually it's music.

But mostly I write wherever and whenever I can.

Cynthia E. Bagley said...

You know.. I write either at my home or at my husband's work. I like candles, music.. but when I am at my husband's work, I write to the hiss of radios (HF rigs).

I find it works quite well. :-)

Josie said...

My friend introduced me to the idea of rewards, which she calls desserts! How clever. I rent a bunch of movies every week and when I get my quota written for the day, I get to watch a movie as dessert. Also, I can't write without my cup of coffee, sliced oranges to munch on, and TV softly playing in the background. That's my ritual every time I sit down to write...

Cynthia E. Bagley said...

Josie ... that is a great idea... REWARDS. Chocolate.

Melly said...

I only have rituals when I go stay with my parents.
I wake up and stay in bed with my laptop until everybody had their coffee and started their day. It's usually when I write the most, even more than when I'm at home...
(I'm a morning person if that isn't obvious :)

Nalini Singh said...

Oooh, yeah, I do rewards too! In my case, I usually get to dive into a book I've been dying to read. Great motivation! :)

Another thing I was thinking about is how sometimes you just NEED the rituals, while others, it doesn't matter if there's a rock band playing outside, the words just come.