10(ish) tips to create your own writing ritual
I'm all about rituals.
So when I had to sit down to write a speech for leap conference a few weeks ago, I ended up knocking it out in less than an hour.
It was a 40 minute speech that was on a topic that the conference organizer and I agreed on ("Your Brand Story") and it was pretty good, guys. Totally gonna toot my own horn.
And when I was talking with folks after, a few were blown away it hadn't taken weeks to prepare. (To which I'm like "who the hell has time for THAT?!")
But I 100% attribute how fast + effectively I write anything (emails, blog posts, ebooks, course a, Etc.) to my writing ritual.
So today, I'm sharing my method for creating a writing ritual, to hopefully help you as well:
1. Figure out what you want your ritual to look like. For me, I want wine, candles and a whole lot of quiet. I've had this idea of a "writer" in my head for years, and I always like portraying that as much as possible. Silly? Totally. But who cares? It's my ritual. Yours can be as grounded as you'd like. :)
But I think that when you take time to envision what the ideal situation for you would be, and then actively try and portray that, the more glamorous it feels, and the more you WANT to do it. Make sense?
2. Get to where you are comfortable but also feel like you write the best. For me, that's the cozy chair in my office reading area or my bathtub. (For the speech, I had a lot to write and so opted for my laptop in the chair. But for this blog post, I went the bathtub + phone route ;)
For you, that might be your desk, your bed, the train-commute home--- whatever.
3. Make the room more comfortable. For me, that means lighting a candle or incense. Both make me feel warm and comfortable. But yours might be something like pulling up a foot stool, or turning the AC down. Just get as comfortable as possible, without being ready to fall asleep ;)
4. Set the mood. I either have to write in silence or to a playlist I've heard so many times I know the words (if there are any words). This helps me focus. My brain is already so used to it, that it's complete background noise. Which is why if you ever have the misfortune to hear my daily Spotify playlist, you're often like STOP PLAYING THAT, hah. Whatever. Helps me focus.
Basically, it's best to experiment to find what kind of sounds (if any) help you focus. You might work best in complete silence. Or maybe you work best with really heavy metal music BLASTING.
5. Tell everyone to leave you alone. Am I the only one who sits down to some much-needed quiet time to focus, only to have my ENTIRE contact list blow up my phone? No? Then do what I do, send a quick text to the VIP list (Mom, partner, best friend, etc.) and kindly let them know you're going to be turning your phone of for the next hour or three. Then just turn it off. Everyone else can wait, I promise.
6. Bring everything you'll need. When I sat down to write the speech, I was writing in my chair that's right next to the AC. so in order to make sure I didn't have to get up after I started, I brought a blanket. I also grabbed a large glass of wine ;) so I didn't get thirsty, of course.
7. Speaking of wine, write drunk. Not drunk, drunk. You're not going to do yourself any favors if you are legitimately drunk. But I will say, a couple glasses of wine, do help the creative process. (I've had years of practice, I'm entirely professional. Trust me on this ;) But here's why: you aren't going to be as focused on the perfection of the piece. Instead, you're going to be focused on the bigger picture, and just getting it all out. Whatever, try it or don't--- it' helped me (and Edgar Allen Poe, Truman Capote, Charles Bukowski--- to name a very few ;)
8. Once you start, don't stop. Just keep writing until you're finished. Again, worry about polishing it later. Right now you're trying to get it all out. Don't set a timer, like many blogs suggest. That disruption can ruin a good flow. I advise just setting aside a few hours (just in case) and working through it until it's done.
However, with ebooks or books in general, I can see how that might not be possible. Just write as long as you can, and as often as possible. Keep the ideas as flowing as possible.
9. Edit sober. (Also known as next-day-editing hah) I try and wait a full 24 hours before I edit. But at very least an hour or two. This helps clear my head, give me fresh eyes and perspective. This is where you want to make it as perfect as possible.
Protip: when editing take one thing out. It can be a sentence or just a few words, or maybe a whole paragraph. This will help you get your message across faster and your audience will thank you for it.
I hope this list of 10-ish tips helps you create your own writing ritual to get you writing faster, more efficiently and more powerfully. This is my own method, so please pick and choose as needed, but also keep in mind that exploration and experimentation is a HUGE part of the creative process.
And then make sure to share your own tips or what's worked or not worked for you in the comments below!
Until next time, darlings!