My writing ritual (warning: it ain’t pretty)

Insecure Writers Support Group BadgeHappy IWSG Day! For those who are new here, I participate in the monthly Insecure Writers Support Group blog hop. Details and signup here. This month’s optional question is: Do you have any rituals that you use when you need help getting into the zone?

I hope my fellow IWSG-ers have some great responses to this question. I need all the ideas I can get, because right now my ritual for getting in the zone is pretty simple: sit my butt down in front of my computer and get to work. I wrote about that process in a post last December.

Part of why I don’t employ much in the way of writing rituals is that I have so little time to write. There are tons of rituals that I think (and sometimes know) would help me:

  • Freewriting, like the morning pages Julia Cameron writes about in The Artist’s Way
  • Exercise. Aerobic exercise in particular tends to fuel my creativity.
  • Meditation, wonderful for clearing the mind and tapping into the subconscious.

In fact, my ideal writing ritual would go something like this:

  1. Get up around sunrise. Eat and caffeinate while writing morning pages.
  2. Go for a “run.” “Run” is in quotation marks, because I would be running for less than half the time. But some running is better than no running, right?
  3. Meditate for 5 or 10 minutes.
  4. Shower.
  5. Write.

My actual writing ritual looks more like this:

  1. Sleep later than I planned, because I stayed up too late. Again.
  2. Grab some cereal and a Diet Coke. Check my watch. Crap. Less than an hour till I have to start work (and before corona, it was, Crap. I have to leave for work in 15 minutes.)
  3. Sit down, shovel Frosted Mini-Wheats into my food hole, swig my magic elixir of caffeine and aspartame, and agonize about what to work on: the paid writing gig (boring but $$), the novel I’m editing, the novel I’m writing, the short story I’m editing, the short story I’m writing, or the blog post I’ve been putting off for a week and oh crap tomorrow is IWSG Day and what the hell am I going to say to a worldwide audience of fellow writers when I can’t even figure out a decent writing routine…
  4. Pick whichever one I think will most likely entice my muse (the drunken floozy) to put down the tequila bottle and grace me with her inebriated and slightly stinky presence.
  5. Write. Get into the zone. And realize it’s time to start my day job.

Yes, I could get my sh*t together, get up an hour earlier, and go through the ideal routine (and the once or twice in 6 years that I did it, it felt great). Or I can accept that I am the way I am and that any method that lets me get the work done is the right method for me.

How about y’all? Have you found a routine that works for you? Or is your “process” as messy as mine?

8 thoughts on “My writing ritual (warning: it ain’t pretty)

  1. I’ve done Morning Pages off and on for years, and I find they help me for awhile. But then comes a point where they feel like a chore so I take a break from them. Hmm, might be time to start them up a again. I can use all the help I can get right now. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love doing morning pages. I just don’t have the time unless I want to give up my other writing to do them, and I don’t. But yeah, I can use all the help I can get too. This is such a hard time.

      Like

  2. I can’t function until I meditate. And some days I get caught up in chores and when I finally glance at the clock it’s close to 11am. For about a year now, I’ve been making a list of gratitudes as soon as I open my eyes in the morning. Of course, my brain can do me in so easily. I found myself worrying that I might forget something on my gratitude list, so I stopped making one for about 5 days. Not a good idea. … Hi Janet. Glad you’re healthy and safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yeah, your writing routine sounds like the most common one among most people I know. If the words are getting done, then I’d day it’s working just fine! (I know, I know: there’s always the feeling that it could be better. But I’m big fan of recognizing when something is working ‘well enough,’ too!)

    Liked by 1 person

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