Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Power of Ritual

It's Saturday.  Writing day.  :)

I always plan to write through the week, and I do. I jot down notes and scribbles of dialogue and character attributes.

But nothing like Saturday.

Saturdays are times of pure literary abandon for me.  I get to wake up a 9am (a full 4 hour later than normal!), brew strong coffee, and hole up in my office with my dogs for twelve hours and two more pots of coffee and a litter o' cola until I emerge, a strange mixture of sleepy and fulfilled.

I listen to the same song over and over, until I can no longer really hear it.  It serves as a mental tool.  occupying that percentage of my mind that would to pull my thoughts from my task at hand and nag me about dishes or laundry or work.

I accidentally put my writing song on in the car on the drive to work the other day, and immediately my mind was transported to my novel in progress and my characters situations and I had a wonderful revelation about a scene that I had been working on.  In that moment I fully realized the power of ritual for a writer.  When my mind heard that song, I flashed like Chuck and the Intersect!  I could hardly wait for today to really delve in and put that idea to work in my novel!

Every time I begin a project, I compile a playlist, but this novel is different.  It is paced different, and the story is a very powerful one for me.  So as a result, I was only able to find a single song that I felt really went with it at this stage.  (Hence the same song over and over.)  So I stumbled onto this super power quite accidentally. 

At any rate, I was always afraid to develop rituals as a writer.  I read in a book once, I think it was This Year You Write Your Novel by Walter Mosley (a very interesting read), who said he was leery of rituals... afraid they would cause a writer's block if they stopped manufacturing a special pen or he had to change computers or something.  That made a lot of sense to me at the time.

But who am I kidding?

I have LOADS of writing rituals. 

  1. I have to have my laptop.
  2. I have to be in my office, and it has to be tidy.
  3. I have to have my song for that piece.
  4. I have to have Diet Mountain Dew, Coffee, and/or Mike and Ike's the red ones, (or Hot Tamales).
  5. I have to be alone.
  6. I have to be warm. (in the winter my feet are always cold.)
  7. I have to be excited about my characters.
All of these are generally common place among writers, nearly all of us like these things. (Even coffee and Hot Tamales from what I read on the Internet :)

Now I can brainstorm in the car, sure.  I do it all the time.  I get a lot of great ideas in my FIFTEEN HOURS a week of commuting. *do I sound bitter? sorry.*  But I cannot straight up compose... ya know?

So, I hear by am dismissing my irrational resistance to ritual!  I embrace this annoying song and all the little things that make my writing Saturday the best and most productive day it can be! :D

... and one more thing... I hereby declare Saturday, My Awesome 10k Writing Day! 

( for more on the 10k writing day check out Rachel Aaron's amazing blog! *she's a genius*
 Like if the guys from Big Bang Theory wrote a book about how to write a book! BAZINGA!)

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