Saturday, 24 July 2010

Routines and Rituals

Today's been such a lovely relaxing day. I slept in late, then went to lunch with Steve to The Whiffler, somehow managed to eat almost an entire mixed grill by myself (accompanied by Pimms and lemonade, of course), and then went into town for an ice cream and to buy a desk.

We've spent the last hour or so assembling said desk in the corner of our tiny living room, so that I can have a creative space to launch full-throttle into Book Worlds. I've been using the coffee table until this very moment, and it's a dreadful height to work at because I end up hunched over the laptop with a sore neck in about five minutes flat - not a good way to write novels (or blog posts), I promise.

Thinking about how difficult it is to write regularly (or work) without a desk made me think about other rituals and routines involved in my creativity. For instance, before I can settle down to writing fiction, I have to check my e-mails and make sure there's nothing new I don't know about.

Why? *shrugs* I have no idea.

I also have to skim over the last thing I wrote in the specific story/file, even on those occasions when I remember it perfectly. I have to read through it anyway - and often, I have to stop and tweak so that I can move on feeling good about what I've written thus far.

Often, I have to have music playing - whether instrumental or not. It helps pull me into the mood of the scene(s) I'm writing before I start writing them, which is why I usually create my book playlists before I've written much of each. The music helps with my outline, helps give me an idea of the moods and changes through the text, even if I don't know exactly how things will go or turn out. Other times, I have to have silence - but truthfully, when I'm really and truly absorbed in writing, there could be a baby screaming three feet behind me and I probably wouldn't notice.

Doesn't bode well for any kids I plan to have, does it? Ah, well. Cross that bridge when it comes and all that...

The point is, these are some of my silly little kinks, little things that help me work, rituals and routines I need to let my mind journey to all the brilliant, sparkly worlds I long to do justice to on paper. These are a few of the things I need to tell a story.

So what do you need? What are your routines and rituals?


  1. Hmm I sometimes need music and sometimes need silence (yes, weird). Also, a fresh pad of paper on the side and a cup of coffee helps!!

  2. Small living room! Sorry, we'll try getting Buckingham Palace next time!

    I routinely get shouted at for upsetting certain peoples "OCD", does that count?

  3. A mixed grill and Pimms usually helps! :)

    I need to reread and edit the last page or os before plunging in. I find that warms me up!

  4. Have to run early in the morning. literally can't do it at any other time - gives me panic attacks, crazy! ;p

  5. A yoga session, make-up, breakfast and I'm ready to go!
    Good old Wetherspoons, love the name of your local. We're off for a girly lunch at ours tomorrow, I thought of you when I suggested it as I know you love it. xxx

  6. I don't write often enough, so I've never really settled into a pattern. I'm a bit hodge-podge with most things really. As long as inspiration strikes, I'll manage to get something done.

  7. I feel I'm much like you in that nothing else can be hanging over my head before I start writing. I need to have everything else complete before I can justify writing because (if it's a good writing day) once I start I can't stop.

    I also can't write with music since the singer in me has to marvel at the musicality. I also prefer not to write directly on my computer and fill notebooks first.