Writing Rituals

Happy Sunday from the New World!

A couple of my upcoming projects are in Blaze Publishing’s nurturing hands right now, which means I get to busy myself with something new to hold myself over until revisions begin! I’ve had an Order of the Bell novelette brewing in my head for a very long time now and I couldn’t wait to dive in, especially because a small group of my favorite characters gets to come out and play! Anyone care to guess what the source material is this time? 🙂

(Hint: It is NOT New Girl, or Agents of Shield.)

I’ve done a few fun Q&A sessions for The Carver and one of the recurring themes is that people love hearing about writing rituals. It’s a fun point of discussion and it’s been fun to explore the idea as I cultivate my favorite hobby into a growing career.

I’ve found that writing can happen pretty much anywhere for me. The dominant place is usually my living room, especially since I upgraded my desk a couple of months ago and never want to leave it! Seriously, this desk has everything: plenty of room for my Funko Pops, two white boards built in where I hang pictures and write deadlines and ideas, book space, drawers . . . yeah. I love it. But, there’s a reason why I almost always carry a flash drive in my pocket and a notebook in my backpack. Inspiration can strike anywhere. Airports. The post office. On my day job. While driving. As a writer and an introvert, I think the natural inclination is to crave routine and comfort, but I think my favorite ideas have come from branching out and seeking novelty.

But then again, I do have some “constants” in my writing life. As you can probably guess, music is one of them. When my earbuds are in, I can slip anywhere. It’s often when I’m listening to music that the ideas come and I need to make a mad dash to my notebook or my laptop! I also gather all sorts of images and keep them close when I’m writing. Once I have a picture of a person and assign a character’s name to that image, the character becomes that much more real. I am now obligated to tell that person’s story. I acknowledge that I am the biggest jerk in the world if I don’t give that voice a chance to be heard.

Sometimes a certain story or character will introduce a separate ritual of its own. The first novel I ever wrote will probably never see the light of day. In many ways, I consider it my “practice novel,” and it breached some touchy boundaries in my personal life. There was also a therapeutic element to writing it, as the main character was based off a good friend who passed away only weeks before I started writing it. With her in mind, I used to light a candle every time I sat down to write the book. Of course, I had my playlist. I had a picture we took together. The character had a face. And every night when I was done writing, I’d blow out the candle.

I’ve also known people who play a game of Solitaire before they write, some who need their coffee, some who need their wine, and some who copy their favorite passages from writers they love before they sit down and make their own words. Every writer bonds with a different muse. Some are a bit more eccentric. I’ve been fortunate that mine pretty much follows me around wherever I go. Sometimes he sits on my TV. Others, he’s in the backseat of my car. But he’s always whispering, as long as he gets some music throughout the day!

What are some of your writing rituals? 🙂

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