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:~: Tuesday, April 24, 2007 :~:

Writing rituals

I think I have spring fever this week. It was 90 degrees yesterday and it's probably about 70 today, so I'd rather be outside than sitting in front of the computer. The kids are back in school after a very long, rainy and cold vacation last week, and yard work is calling my name.

As I sit here wasting time, I've been thinking about writing rituals. Mine are pretty basic. During the school year, once the kids get on the bus I work out, take a quick shower, and then plant myself in my computer chair for most of the day--in between dishes and loads of laundry. I work for part of the day on Saturdays but take Sundays off. During the summer, my schedule is a little different. I work for a few hours early in the morning, and then for another few after they go to bed at night.

I always have a water bottle on my desk, but to avoid excess snacking--which I'm really prone to--I've had to make a rule. No food by the computer. I wish I could listen to music while I write, but I can't. It's too big of a distraction for me. Not that I have to have complete silence (I usually write with a talkative bird on my shoulder who pretty much spends the day chatting in my ear) but I can't have anything going that makes me want to get up and move around. Because I will. :grin: I tend to have a pretty short attention span.

What are your writing rituals? Is there anything you can't deal with when you're writing?


Blogger Joan Swan said...

I like to **think** I've got writing rituals, but my life is not at all condusive to anything steadfast.

Typically, on days I don't work, I drop the kids at school and head to McDonalds where I write for about 2-3 hrs. I know all the staff, all the regulars. It's comfortable for me (it'd be more comfortable if they had a decent HEATING system).

I like writing in public places. At home I feel smothered by all the "to-dos" sitting around. They tend to scream louder than my characters. I enjoy the white noise of public places, the anonymity while still being among the living. I like the "company".

When I work, I try to do something writing-related between patients (if I get the time).

I can't write with music either.

11:05 AM  
Blogger Maggie said...

I'll often actually use music to block out other distractions--but it has to be instrumental. If it's something with words, I try to pay attention to them. I don't know that I have specific rituals for writing since I am constantly at a computer for 2 of 3 jobs and whenever I have a spare minute I try to jot something down. I suppose the most ritualistic part of my writing day is that it never seems to get off on the write foot (pun intended) if I don't have an email from my closest writing buddy. We feed off each other and are consistent sounding boards.

2:53 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

I can't listen to music either. Too distracting. Instrumental is okay, words make me lose my train of thought. I have to have it pretty quiet when I'm writing. The TV distracts me, so I go in a room by myself to write. I do most of my writing at night - when the Gremlins are in bed and DH is watching TV or snoozing on the couch. I'm trying to write during the day while one kid is at preschool and the other's napping, but one or the other doesn't cooperate and 2 hrs just isn't long enough to get into it. By the time I start cooking, one's awake or it's time to go get the other.

Great post, Elisa. And man, 90 degrees? You have wild weather back there.

5:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've tried to writing to music, but instrumental music irritates me and music with lyrics distracts me, so I quite even trying.

As for rituals. My main ritual is to sit down and re-read the last scene I wrote. That usually helps me get back into the scene.

I like to snack when writing too, and had to make a rule of no food, but plenty of water at the desk. To my surprise this also increased my output, and I realized the constant reaching for food, and munching while I was thinking things over actual interupted the flow of the scene and words.


9:36 PM  

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