Do you have Strange Rituals When Writing? (part 2)

writing process, create, writers, grammarRemember, no ritual should ever take the place of actually getting words on the page . But they can help you shift your mindset just enough to see things in a fresh way.

In the immortal words of novelist and screenwriter Raymond Chandler:  ‘Technique alone is never enough. You have to have passion. Technique alone is just an embroidered potholder.’

What are your rituals, Trish?’  Oh, yes I did promise to share my rituals…..I wake up naturally (34 years of alarm clocks were more than enough, thank you!) sometime before 9AM, depending on what my body needs and how long I was up during the night, writing.

Still in my nightgown, I walk across the house to my kitchen, two golden retrievers padding along at my heels.  They know what’s coming….breakfast.  I get my hot tea going, (loose tea leaves, of course and a whole pot as I will finish it before the afternoon.) Let the dogs out, feed the cat, and the tea is ready by now.

writers, fiction, create, authors, children's books, art, painting
My studio

Throwing a Tee over my nightwear, I walk back to my studio, with tea in hand, and begin the juices flowing by answering emails, checking to see what activity my web site received.   I then open my manuscript and read what I wrote yesterday.  That usually takes a couple of hours fleshing out what I wrote and editing and rewriting.  And rewriting again.  This seems to trigger creativity….I am ready to write the next chapters.  Maybe I’ll take a break and write a new poem which I will add to my new book of poetry.

Another area that is ‘food’ for creativity is writing my blog twice a week.  It’s coming up on two years that I have posted… seems like there’s always something to say.

Hours later I find myself still at my computer, writing.  Still in my nightgown, tea gone cold, joints too stiff to stand.  (sigh)  Time to shower and get dressed, run on an errand.  Now this is where it gets interesting…..when I am in the car the creative thinking flows and begins to write itself in my head.  On many days I have cut my errands short and rushed back to my computer.  Sometimes when I can’t go back I will call my voice-mail and leave myself notes about a new character, a new thread, a new idea.
I have post-it notes in the rooms of my house and in my car.  Frequently I write (in my head) in the middle of the night between sleep and waking.  I have a large tablet by my bed so I can write it down before I forget, which I will do by morning.  Good stuff at 3AM in the night!

Murder Board for each mystery
My work space

My studio is filled with my art (watercolor and charcoal)and the many things that I love to see and have around me.  My desk is messy with research books, papers, pens.  When writing my murder mysteries, I create a murder board with victims, suspects, and story lines.

This is also a question that I ask in my Interviews with best-selling authors (once a month).  The answers vary and are fascinating.

What’s your ritual?

Read Part I of Odd Rituals

In addition to my twice weekly blog I also feature an interview with another author once a month. So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!      Dean Koontz just granted me an interview and will be featured here in June!

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