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tomz563
05-19-2014, 12:42 AM
Hope this is the right forum to post this in, but I was curious to see if anyone else out there had some sort of ritual or habit they repeat whenever they're in writing mode?

For me, when the weather is nice I prefer to write outside. During the day accompanied by coffee, after 5 with wine or champagne. Always with a cigarette, old fashioned in that way.

Bolero
05-19-2014, 06:15 PM
I wouldn't call it a ritual but I too like to work outside when I can and the weather is up to it. I also sit out to read whenever feasible.

Tea is involved - but tea is involved in everything. :)

Turning off the internet is another good writing habit. :) (Sitting outside automatically achieves that - multi-tasking - getting fresh air AND distance from the internet.)

cruellae
05-19-2014, 11:24 PM
Work outside with tea? That sounds awesome. I wish I had a living area setup that allowed that.

Unfortunately I can't turn off the internet, all my stuff is in a cloud. (figuratively and then literally)

cmi0616
05-20-2014, 05:21 AM
I write in a library, so I have two cigarettes: one before I enter and start writing and one after I'm done, as a sort of reward. I always drink Diet Pepsi while I write. The only other "ritualistic" thing I do is write journal entries before I start on my fiction, since I find it loosens me up a bit.

C.bronco
05-20-2014, 05:59 AM
I write in a library, so I have two cigarettes: one before I enter and start writing and one after I'm done, as a sort of reward. I always drink Diet Pepsi while I write. The only other "ritualistic" thing I do is write journal entries before I start on my fiction, since I find it loosens me up a bit.

Yay, diet pepsi is SUPER important! Also, the house has to be ckean or I can't focus. Thank goodness for caffeine free diet pepsi later in the day. If I'm writing comedy, a light domestic brew also works.

WeaselFire
05-20-2014, 07:08 AM
I tap my nose three times while rotating in a counter-clockwise direction, then light a black candle and immediately blow out the flame, then sprinkle yak blood on my chair before sitting down to write.

Seriously, habits maybe. Rituals no. Can't see a reason to even think about them.

Jeff

Dmbeucler
05-20-2014, 07:28 AM
I get out of my house. I put on music. Everything else is secondary.

Ideally I go someplace I can eat with a good supply of caffeinated beverages... realistically I end up at our local McDonald's because they are close and open after my kid goes to bed. It's a glamorous life.

phantasy
05-27-2014, 09:07 AM
I have to read for at least half an hour first. If not more.

AshleyEpidemic
05-28-2014, 08:39 PM
No rituals, but I do have a quirk. When I am writing prose, I write with my eyes closed for the majority of the time.

JustSarah
05-29-2014, 07:34 AM
Well I can't write if I have the internet on, so I set a timer to turn off in the morning and the evening.

I also make sure I have the next few stories outlined before I begin. If it's for a novella, then the all the chapters plotted with their own beginning, middle, and an end to that chapter.

I also draw a story world map if applicable.

I was having Johnny cakes as a reward, but that soon spiraled into having corn cakes every 1,000 words. Which for a 3,000 word story completed during the day, that means three times for Johnny cakes, aside from breakfast and dinner. And yes I'm overweight, why do you ask?:P

So I'm trying to ween it off into a weekly reward.

I must emphasize breaking every 1,000 words by saving the next 1,000 for the next day. This enables you write enough to finish the chapter, without overworking yourself. Yes once I did 4,000 words in a day, I was also tired bonzo.

SentaHolland
06-08-2014, 11:23 AM
I write in a coffeeshop without wifi (or with very expensive pay-for wifi which I am too cheap to buy). I edit at home.
Coffee has to be part of it. And there's a special music playlist for each book which I play over and over again (headphones of course). At some point I no longer listen to the music, it becomes part of the fabric of my text.
I love this thread, more please...

ZachJPayne
06-08-2014, 11:29 AM
I've got my music and a cold drink, maybe even a smoothie if I'm not feeling lazy.

NeuroFizz
06-08-2014, 05:34 PM
Rituals tend to be exclusive rather than inclusive (I can't write unless these specific conditions are met). Why would any writer want to endorse or tolerate such a potential barrier to his/her writing time?

bearilou
06-08-2014, 05:45 PM
Unfortunately I can't turn off the internet, all my stuff is in a cloud. (figuratively and then literally)

Which is why I have all my stuff backed up in several places and not a cloud at all. Also, my internet access is sketchy to begin with so counting on having internet at all is my bigger concern.


I tap my nose three times while rotating in a counter-clockwise direction, then light a black candle and immediately blow out the flame, then sprinkle yak blood on my chair before sitting down to write.

YAK BLOOD! :foilhat: I was using moose blood.

cruellae
06-08-2014, 07:08 PM
Which is why I have all my stuff backed up in several places and not a cloud at all. Also, my internet access is sketchy to begin with so counting on having internet at all is my bigger concern.


Yeah if you have sketchy internet access it's not a great idea. I love the cloud because I prefer to draft on my iPad and then go immediately over to my PC for editing and formatting. It's so much easier if I can just open a document that I had open on my iPad and all the changes are already there, edit it on my PC and then go back over to my iPad and pick it up again.

shelleyo
06-08-2014, 07:13 PM
No rituals for me. I only need to stop whatever I'm doing and have a keyboard available. I hate writing longhand, but I will if I have time and an idea. I often listen to music that fits the theme of what I'm writing, but I don't by any means need to.

Not having a ritual allows me the freedom to write anywhere, anytime, except in a moving vehicle thanks to severe motion sickness.

Ken
06-08-2014, 07:36 PM
Tea

Me too. (Uncaffeinated.) Other than that, nada.
Shameful to be sure.

Jamesaritchie
06-08-2014, 07:54 PM
Rituals tend to be exclusive rather than inclusive (I can't write unless these specific conditions are met). Why would any writer want to endorse or tolerate such a potential barrier to his/her writing time?

I don't think rituals are that confining. I've known a lot of writers, and other creative types, who had rituals, but they didn't need them, and could write just fine without them, if need be.

A ritual can put you in the mood to write, can be a trigger for creativity. Like anything else, it's about who is in control.

NeuroFizz
06-08-2014, 08:42 PM
I don't think rituals are that confining. I've known a lot of writers, and other creative types, who had rituals, but they didn't need them, and could write just fine without them, if need be.

A ritual can put you in the mood to write, can be a trigger for creativity. Like anything else, it's about who is in control.
But, James, you have the "luxury" of being a full-time writer. Some of us have to carve out unpredictable and irregular times in our lives to sit and write, and under these circumstances, being selective about mood, or waiting for the proper mood, can work against taking advantage of the writing opportunities. Anyone who has significant time challenges for their writing and can still be productive is certainly a person in control, particularly if that person can slip into the proper writing mood nearly anywhere or anytime.

chompers
06-08-2014, 10:03 PM
I don't think of it as a ritual, but rather just a preparation. If I'm getting ready to do some writing, most likely it's going to be some span of time, so I want tea and snacks before me, so that I don't constantly get up, especially when I get into the Zone.

M.S. Wiggins
06-09-2014, 12:41 AM
Complete silence is a must-have for me.

Jamesaritchie
06-09-2014, 02:00 AM
But, James, you have the "luxury" of being a full-time writer. Some of us have to carve out unpredictable and irregular times in our lives to sit and write, and under these circumstances, being selective about mood, or waiting for the proper mood, can work against taking advantage of the writing opportunities. Anyone who has significant time challenges for their writing and can still be productive is certainly a person in control, particularly if that person can slip into the proper writing mood nearly anywhere or anytime.

I agree, to a point, but I think you're making too much of "ritual". It's not like any of us have to sacrifice a black cat at midnight while chanting a Britney Spears song before we can start writing. Thank God. I understand the cat, but having to chant a Britney Spears song is just too much.

I don't even think it goes to the point of being selective about mood. I don't know any writers with rituals who can't just sit down and write whenever and wherever.

In fact, I suspect the majority have rituals, even when they aren't aware of it. Habit is a constant lurker, waiting to take advantage of us all. Some writers always check their e-mail first, or go to a forum, or read the news. Some play two or three games of solitaire, or you name it. A few strip naked, light black candles, pour the blood of a virgin goat over their head, and eat a piece of liver taken from their last murder victim before they can write word one. Or is that just me?

Anyway, you may have a point, but most of the rituals I've encountered aren't must do things, or they're things the writer can do anywhere.

Mr Flibble
06-09-2014, 02:04 AM
How do you know the goat is a virgin?

ishtar'sgate
06-09-2014, 03:08 AM
I write my first draft in longhand. My first order of business is to sharpen up a bunch of pencils so they're nice and pointy then get my cup of coffee and I'm all set to go!

Ken
06-09-2014, 03:30 AM
And then I guess there's the what-if-the-ritualistic-object-gets-lost possibility.
E.g. A hat one always wears to write in until a gust of wind decides otherwise.