Writing Rituals to Live By

This post is part of the 52-Week Blog Challenge, hosted by the Marketing for Romance Writers Blog.

This week’s challenge is to consider my writing rituals.

In some ways, I’m a very ritualistic writer. I must have coffee before I begin. I must have (relative) silence. I must have a little food in my stomach so I won’t be distracted.

But at the same time, I’m also proud of my ability to write under most any circumstances. I’m not really precious about any of this, though I certainly prefer to perform my simple rituals before I begin. I can write in a coffee shop, although I typically choose not to (too noisy, too many distractions, and who wants to pay for coffee when they’ve got an unlimited supply at home?). I can write in a hallway or standing up scribbling in a notebook on the sidewalk as I wait for a bus, but I’d rather be sitting at my own desk.

I also have little mini-rituals that I consider part of my personal writing process. Like busting out a brand-new notebook for every new novel idea (usually one of those old-school composition books from the Dollar Store, or the absolute cheapest single-subject notebooks that I got on sale during Back To School season, usually green!). And scribbling down my brainstorming notes by hand, which I will later revise into a nice, relatively organized outline on my computer. Or using Scrivener for my first drafts, but also typing in a frenzy in Text Edit when I’ve got a great idea and can’t wait for the program to load.

It’s funny, too, that I consider coffee part of my ritual, even though a) I only drink one cup of coffee each day, and b) my coffee tends to get cold while I’m actually in the midst of writing, so I’m really drinking it either before I get started or (more frequently) after the writing is done.

When I was in college, I even had a regular café I wrote in where the barista actually offered me a second saucer to cover my coffee in an attempt to keep it warm longer!

Ultimately, I think writing rituals are useful if they help you get into your groove, but require the occasional shake-up to make sure they’re still helping you produce your best work.

What are YOUR writing rituals?

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