(And really, why aren’t you getting my newsletter??? Did you know I do giveaways of FABOULUS bookish stuff like KU subscriptions and Audible memberships?!?! You’re missing out.)
I hope the winter treated you well. As for me and mine, we were hit by the PLAGUE.
Seriously! I can’t remember ever being that sick. I was convinced that it was the end times. The world was ending, not with a bang, but with a hacking cough.
A little shout out to my SPN family.
Some bad news:
Unfortunately, two months of either being sick or dealing with sick kids put a serious kink (no pun intended) in my writing schedule. After sending out my next book to Beta Readers, I realized I needed to do some major reworking. So I’ve had to push back the release date (which also meant rescheduling with my editor). Right now I’m cautiously saying book 4 will be out in JUNE* of 2016.
Modern Girl’s Guide to Friends with Benefits is ALMOST here. I know it feels like forever…or that could just be how long it felt writing this book, but PETER and MEGAN are ready to have their story told. I know y’all have been waiting. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!!
Today is the first Wednesday of the month. That means it’s time for Insecure Writer’s Support Group! You can find the sign up for the IWSG here. We owe Alex J Cavanaugh a huge thank you for thinking this blog hop up.
Summer has been a disaster for me. My motivations has been low, by day job has been a circus, and the kids have been home all summer. :\ I’ve struggled through motivation and job issues before, but the kids being home all summer is something new. We usually have camp or trips with grandparents to break up the ever shortening summer (I think we’re down to 8 weeks off now), but not this year. So the nights have gotten later, and the fighting more intense. The whole thing has tossed a serious monkey wrench into my normal writing ritual.
So as I prepare to go off to the school’s open house tonight, I wanted to take a moment and the value of writing rituals.
Why should you have a Writing Ritual?
Okay, maybe not that kind of brain…
To put it simply: IT’S A BRAIN THING.
“When a group of neurons that process one movement, sensation, or behavior are frequently activated at the same time that another group of neurons responsible for another movement, sensation, or behavior are activated, those two groups of neurons will begin to make connections and fire simultaneously.” from Around the Writer’s Block: Using Brain Science to Solve Writer’s Resistance
By going through the motions, if you will, you are alerting your brain that “this is the time we get creative.” Instead of waiting for inspiration to strike, you can create a neurological trigger for “inspiration” with your own writing ritual.
It doesn’t happen overnight. You are effectively retraining your brain, so it takes time.
I like to send my kids up to get ready for bed. Walk on my treadmill for 30 min. Get a cup of tea. A glass of wine (or whiskey…depending on my mood.) Turn the lights lower (but not off). And then reread the last page or two, while sipping my tea. When I move on to the wine (okay, it’s usually whiskey, but wine just sounds more romance authorly), it’s time to start writing.
Every author’s ritual is unique to them.
James Joyce wrote lying on his stomach in bed, with a large blue pencil, clad in a white coat, and composed most of Finnegans Wake with crayon pieces on cardboard. John Steinbeck, who liked to write his drafts in pencil, always kept exactly twelve perfectly sharpened pencils on his desk. Alexandre Dumas penned all of his fiction on a particular shade of blue paper, his poetry on yellow, and his articles on pink.
Maya Angelou wrote in motel rooms. In 1983, she told an interviewer, “I keep a hotel room in which I do my work—a tiny, mean room with just a bed, and sometimes, if I can find it, a face basin. I keep a dictionary, a Bible, a deck of cards and a bottle of sherry in the room. I try to get there around 7, and I work until 2 in the afternoon. If the work is going badly, I stay until 12:30. If it’s going well, I’ll stay as long as it’s going well. It’s lonely, and it’s marvelous.”
Your rituals don’t have to be as strange or strict as these famous authors. It can be something as simple as sitting in the same place drinking the same drink at the same time during the day. Or heading to your local coffee shop (honestly, writers go there for a reason…it’s part of a ritual!) Having a ritual will help you be more productive, I promise.
So as we head into fall (YES, I’m fully aware that it’s only the start of August, but the kids are headed back to school already!!!), I’m looking forward to getting back to my own ritual (and getting back to more productive writing sessions).