Happy 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:
- Get up around sunrise. Eat and caffeinate while writing morning pages.
- 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?
- Meditate for 5 or 10 minutes.
My actual writing ritual looks more like this:
- Sleep later than I planned, because I stayed up too late. Again.
- 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.)
- 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…
- 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.
- 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?