Notes From a Hired Pen

Writing Rituals

A very kind and talented friend is doing a video series about the process of me writing this book, but because he has an actual job and because this is a side project for him, he’s not following me around 24/7.

That means I’m shooting some of the video with my iPhone. I usually set it up before a writing session then after to talk about how it’s going.

In the first one, I blather on and then show everything that I have that has me ready to write: writing hat, writing gloves (which are these fun things), a cup of tea, my hoodie and a little Groot bobblehead. Then I am ready to write!

But in the next video, which I took the next day, I’m just hanging out with no hat, no gloves, no music even, talking about a writing session I just had. I’m going to go get some coffee then start up again, and I don’t have any of those things on either.

Writing rituals can help me slide into book writing mode. I know I use them when I’m agitated and don’t want to write – like on that first day. I’m once again locked into a hotel to work on the book, and I drove through some snow to get here. We were supposed to get about a foot of snow the next day, and I was anxious about that (the snow never happened). So having a ritual of putting stuff on, having these things around me, helped me flip off one part of my brain and flip on the other that needed to work.

The second day, though, I was writing more or less on and off all day. So when a thought came to me, I’d just sit down and start, whether I had my “gear” on or not.

I’ve been facing times through this process where I say I don’t feel like writing. This is not uncommon. Rituals can help me feel ready, so as long as that happens and I don’t feel like I CAN’T write unless I have my hat, my gloves, my cup of tea, my hoodie and my Groot, they’ll still have a place in my writing life.

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