Do You Have a Writing Ritual?
As defined by dictionary.com, ritual is “an established or prescribed procedure for a religious or other rite.” It’s no wonder that many writers create and follow a writing ritual, a prescribed procedure for jump starting their daily process. Daily that is unless it’s interrupted by vacations, a holiday season, sick parents or kids, or a lost dog—just to name a few reasons some of us veer off the path now and then.
My writing ritual varies depending on the seasons. This post is about my Winter Writing Ritual. Generally, I wake up around 6:00 a.m. It’s still dark and the house is cold. The cat is hungry. The dog needs to go out. I need a cup of coffee. My winter ritual involves letting the dog out while I get some wood to throw into the fireplace, picking up the cat’s bowl from the bathroom, (Why the bathroom? That will be the topic of another post) trotting into the kitchen to fill and return it then heading to the kitchen to grind the beans and start the coffee.
While the coffee is brewing, I check the fireplace to be sure the new logs have caught. I then grab a jacket and go outside to get the paper. The Union is a small paper and before I drink my coffee I read the obituaries and the police blotter. Because I live in an area where people come to retire, most of the obits are elderly folks who have lived long, robust lives. Occasionally, there is someone younger who went to school with one of my kids, or someone I know. While I wait for the smell of coffee to waft through the kitchen, I read my favorite section of the paper, the “police blotter,” because it’s generally ridiculous and subsequently hilarious. One day, when I have nothing to say, I’ll transcribe and post the must-read column.
By now the cat is meowing to come in, the dog, done with her business, is waiting at the door, and the coffeemaker is hiss, the signal my brain needs to shift into writing mode. I get my cup from the cupboard, pour too much real, organic cream into the bottom of the cup, give it a quick stir, and head to my office.
As I enjoy the aroma and my first sip, I wait for the topic of that day’s five minute writing post to come to me. A few sips later I have it. If you have a writing ritual, I invite you to share it. If you don’t, you might want to create one.