Do you have a writing ritual? Is there something you have to do every time to ease yourself into your work? Does your desk need to be set up a certain way? Is there a certain type of music that needs to be playing in the background? Do you need the soothing fragrance of lavender, rosemary or peppermint to help you close the door on the rest of your life and slip into the world of words?
Many writers have a ritual or a tradition they use as a strategic way to help them slip into their work mode. It can be a repetitive action or a significant object that helps them focus, imprinting in their mind that it’s time to settle into work, setting up the boundary against the distractions of family, friends, jobs and errands. A regular ritual can help connect your mind to your task. Some writers write at the same time every day; some ease into their working mode by doing a few non-writing tasks, like checking emails or opening letters; some have their environment set up a certain way, like Feng Shui, opening the flow of creative energy. Anything that helps the writer slink off into their own creative world can be their writing ritual.
Some engage in ritual without consciously knowing; others step into their space and deliberately seek out their tradition before starting to write. The writing ritual is personal to each writer and it can be anything from always having a cup of tea on hand, or having the sounds of nature twittering in the background or using the same pen when editing. The ritual becomes their talisman that guides them to their objective.
What are your writing rituals?
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J.G. Chayko is a writer, actress, and international arthritis advocate who’s been involved in theatre for more than 30 years and has published poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.