Are you participating in National Novel Writing Month this year? I stick my nose in it every year, and always come through to December with more manuscript than I had before. It's a supportive and exciting way to get writing, if you aspire to that kind of thing!
This year, I made it extra special with some rituals. A lot of writing rituals that you find out there recommend that you wake up early, do insane things like take cold showers, and get writing at the same time of the day. That is not my life. I've always struggled with those suggestions.
So for a long time, I did without any ritual. Until this year when I decided to try a few tips made by my writing friends on how to create a productive writing environment. Most of them tap into associative memory, and they are easy to implement no matter what time of day I sit down to write.
Light a Scented Candle - I picked out a beeswax candle with a bright citrus smell. Citrus aromatherapy is a great way to infuse focus and energy into your day. If I light the same candle every time I write, then the smell will kick-start my brain. "Ahha," my brain will say. "It's time to get creative."
Sip Tea - I make a herbal tea from Celestial Seasonings called Bengal Spice. The blend of spices really pep me up, which is helpful when I write at night. And since it's caffeine free, I won't have a bad night's sleep either. I add a little extra tea bag with fennel seeds for my specific digestive needs (psst - it helps curb cravings) . The combo tastes great, and the spices are so naturally sweet that I don't have to add sugar. I only make this tea when I write, so again I look forward to this special treat!
Heated Pad - I make things super cozy with a heating pad or bag of rice heated in the microwave. It's the only time of day I can really sit down and baby myself.
Special Playlists - For my particular novel, Valkyrie's Cry, I've made a special Spotify playlist with moody music that launches me into that headspace. I made sure to add some music specifically written for video games because that kind of music helps you focus and feel motivated. Sometimes during the day I'll get a song from the playlist stuck in my head, but I don't allow myself to listen to it until I'm sitting down to write. It's just one more thing to help me look forward to writing, and making the whole experience more enjoyable.
Do you have any favorite writing rituals?