What are your creative rituals?

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This is my weekly installment of “writing about writing,” in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help other writers. Today I discuss a blog post about creative rituals….

Do you have any creative rituals?

For example, do you have a special place to write? A specific drink you make for yourself? A piece of reading you do before writing? A breathing exercise, perhaps?

Having rituals might sound a little woo woo but they work. A recent blog post by writer Angela Yeh explores her interpretation of rituals. Here’s her phrasing that I liked best:

“Our creative ritual needs to be something we look forward to.

You might save the world with your writing, but let’s first save your motivation to get in the chair. I am here to remind you that this writing thing is supposed to be fun. You’ll have to trust me that if you’re having fun, you’re more likely to keep coming back for more. There is no guilt or shame in this, only acceptance. Leave the drudgery and rules and expectations and disappointments for the day job.”

My own creative ritual involves writing at my treadmill desk, while walking. I know, I know. A treadmill, for God’s sake, probably doesn’t sound the least bit creative. But for me, the steady plod of my feet unleashes the wildness in my brain.

I also need to have a clean desk. But I’m careful not to spend time cleaning before writing. That would just be a slightly sophisticated form of procrastination. Instead, I sweep everything into a box that I can sort later in the day, when my writing energy is diminished.

I also like to have a glass of ice-water at hand. Yes, I know, many people argue that it’s way healthier to drink warm water. Me? I like the refreshment of cold, carbonated plain ice water.

Each person has their own creative rituals. Just make sure you identify yours and then USE them to turn yourself into a more productive writer.


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