I’m kind of obsessed with reading about people’s everyday rituals, especially writers. Sometimes it’s hard to get into the mindset you need for a successful bout of writing. Sometimes your mind is clogged by the cornucopia of articles and kitty YouTube videos you’ve seen on the internet that day, or by the dull chorus of clothes demanding to be ironed, and dishes demanding to be washed. Rituals can help you prepare to enter that mindset and switch on your writer light bulb.
I always think of Isabel Allende starting a new book on January the 8th; Charles Dickens liked absolute silence, and a desk laid out with quills and various ornaments; Joan Didion sleeps with her book when it’s finished; Haruki Murakami wakes at 4:00 am and works for a solid five to six hours; Ernest Hemingway liked to write standing up, while Truman Capote wrote lying down; Victor Hugo wrote in the nude; Maya Angelou books herself into hotel rooms to write, and always takes a bottle of sherry, a deck of cards, a thesaurus, a bible and legal pads.
Do you have a writing ritual? I haven’t quite mastered mine yet. I know I like a warm drink, everything that I need right there, a scented candle and some atmospheric film score playing in the background. Sometimes I add crystals to my desk, or a vase of fresh flowers, sometimes I add a tarot card for inspiration. Play around with what feels right, and I mean play around. You can be as crazy as you wish. Perhaps, for you, that means writing in a particular armchair, dressed in silk PJs with a feather crown on your head. Perhaps you like to crazy dance to your favourite song right before, or anoint yourself with a gorgeous essential oil. Go wild! Some things might work, others may not.