Writing Rituals

While recovering from wrist surgery this summer I accomplished very little. No writing. Lots of reading and TV. I watched YouTube more than I should admit. Not all cat videos I promise. I discovered several writers. One, Kristen Martin had a recent video on #WritingRituals . I think it was created by Kim Chance. I’ve since watched several, then decided to try my hand at it. Sans Youtube.

Writing Ritual Tag

  1. When do you write- time/day?

I haven’t written much of anything all summer. It’s hard to type in a cast. I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things. Because I live in a tiny house with loud teenagers I write while they are at school. It’s very hard for me to get anything accomplished on the weekends. So 8:30 am weekdays I try to write/edit for a couple of hours.  I can do research, readings, and light critiques in the evenings and weekends. But real writing is when the kids are away.

2.  How do you seclude yourself from the outside world when writing?

Social media is a huge distraction for me. I don’t turn wi-fi off because then I wouldn’t beable to look things up online. We’ve all had instances when our brain fails and can’t figure out the proper spelling for ‘dynamite’ or how to use a comma. So what I do is: close the curtains, turn on some music, and turn notifications off. I can still use the internet but no text messages or calls get through or thousands of app notifications I have yet to learn how to block. I will take short breaks and check the calls to make sure nothing urgent was missed.

3. How do you review what you wrote the day before?

I will briefly read over what I wrote. Not to edit. That’s important. If I jump down the editing road I will never finish. I may add to what I wrote, but I mainly want to review the events, tone, and voice so that I pick up in the proper spot.

4. What song is your go to song when feeling uninspired?

I don’t have a certain song. Instead, as I plan and start writing a new project, I create a playlist for my story. For instance, my current project has a playlist called Superhero Mix. It includes movie theme songs and songs played in movies or inspired by super heroes. Yes, I’m a nerd. Guess what the new project is about…

5. What do you do when you feel writer’s block?

I’ve never really had writer’s block. Right now I lack motivation. I’ve been out of the habit for months and it’s hard picking it back up. Watching YouTube videos and reading writing magazines helps get the spark back. Also writing little things, like this blog post, helps with igniting the feeling of writing. There are times I’m unsure of where to go with a project or I’m uninspired about what I’m writing. I find it useful to change activities. Trying another creative hobby (drawing, photography, etc) or even a physical activity will help. I just need to step away and do something different.

6. What tools do you use when you are writing?

I now write/plan using Scrivener. I love the note card feature and having a place to keep research and character info close at hand as I write. I will print all of this out and keep it in a binder because well…I’m still old school. I don’t entirely trust the computer not to crash and lose everything I’ve worked on. Most of my older writing (unfinished) is in Word. For those projects, I still work in word. I also have a huge stack of writing/reference books I keep close at hand. Here are a few of them.

The emotion thesaurus series is very helpful. I know I tend to reuse the same expressions and phrases. These books help me break that cycle. If you write mystery/suspense or anything where a character may get injured I highly recommend a book on trauma and anatomy. Trust me on that. Also if you write about a real life location. Even if it has a fictional name, it is useful to know about the natural world. It adds a layer of believability. Trust me. The locals know when you don’t do your research.

7. The one thing you can’t live without while writing?

Music. I can not write without music. And Tea. I must have hot tea. And chocolate. Lots of tea and chocolate.

8. How do you fuel yourself while writing?

Again, hot tea. Sometimes coffee. I need something warm and caffeinated. I usually have something small to snack on. Clean finger food. Small pieces of chocolate, pretzels, or cookies. Shortbreads are my favorite. It’s not particularly healthy but it’s what I like.

9. How do you know when you are done writing?

I try to finish the scene. That’s a must. When my mind starts wandering to chores or errands I need to

What ya writing?

do I know I’m finished for the day. Sometimes I can pick back up after lunch but that’s rare. Once I walk away from the computer I am done.

 

And let’s not forget my writing buddy. She keeps me company as I type away.

There you go. My #writingrituals.

What are yours?

-CK

 

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