Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Power of Ritual #amwriting

Colin Farrell wears the same boxers on day 1 of every movie shoot. Serena Williams always wears the same pair of shower sandals before a match. She also bounces each of her tennis balls 5 times before serving them to her opponent. David Beckham insists on new cleats and new underwear before his matches. And Peter Wentz is terribly anxious if The Count (Sesame Street) doesn’t accompany him on his travels. (Or so says this tabloid!)

Whatever you may think about superstitions and silly celebrities, it is true that the mind responds to habits. When you complete a set number of tasks, you are telling your mind to do something. This can be harnessed and used to your benefit when it comes to your writing.

Sometimes it is hard for us to find the time to do writing, or more often, even when we do have the time, we just can’t seem to bring our mind to the page.

Therefore, may I suggest a little pre-writing ritual? Rituals are highly personal, so I can’t tell you what to do. But I can say that consistency and repetition is essential.---and also patience.
Let’s take my pre-writing ritual for example:

I get up. I make a warm beverage (coffee/tea). I turn on my Pandora radio and search for a station that I’m in the mood for and then open a WORD .doc.

BAM! A writing ritual!

It can be simple or it can be complicated (I must first do 10 jumping jacks on one foot, wearing a red shirt, while juggling three bottles of vicodin….) Do whatever works for you. (Weirdos).
It is only important that you do the same tasks in the same order. By doing the tasks in the same order, it gives you mind the cue that a certain thing must be done next and it helps to prepare, focus and calm you for the task of writing (or so says my Scientific American!)

So tell me, what rituals do you do to help you get into the head space of writing?


  1. After my brain injury thinking my thoughts then speaking is very difficult. Phones are out. I can write but must have quiet, love good paper and my fountain pen/s but also can dicate speech to text if then can edit later, work best though in a word processing software or app. Without all my memory helping devices I am lost though. Am managing as a new tweeter

    1. It sounds like you are doing amazing considering your circumstances! Where there is will there is a way, right? You are such an inspiration!