Entering the writing space is different for every writer.
Whether we grab a notebook on the fly, record on our phones, or close the door behind us to sit for a few hours in our own private space – we are ready for the words to come.
Sometimes the notebook is important. Sometimes the pen or the pencil. For many writers the time of day is not only important it is vital to whether or not any writing takes place.
I’ve said before that writing is a second job so that means writing has to take place in the time slots before or after whatever constitutes job one.
Toni Morrison was interviewed in the Paris Review about this. She was asked about her ritual of writing before dawn.
“Writing before dawn began as a necessity–I had small children when I first began to write and I needed to use the time before they said, Mama–and that was always around five in the morning.”
Morrison’s first job was being a mother. She went on to explain how she felt about getting to the place of creativity through ritual.
“I tell my students one of the most important things they need to know is when they are at their best, creatively. They need to ask themselves, what does the ideal room look like? Is there music? Is there silence? Is there chaos outside or is there serenity outside? What do I need in order to release my imagination?”
Have you found your writing space? What little ritual flips your writing switch and releases your creativity?
Rituals can be a simple as writing at the same time every day, playing the same kind of music or using the same kind of notebook. Rituals unlock unconscious blocks to writing. (I used to play a game on my computer before I started writing. It was a bribe. You can play before you work.)
Negotiating with yourself is not out of the question. Write for an hour before pouring a drink. Or calling a friend. Ritual is getting into the space; it’s finding the right set of stops on the combination lock that lets you into the zone.
Joseph Campbell wrote about the importance of ritual:
“A ritual is the enactment of a myth. And, by participating in the ritual, you are participating in the myth. And since myth is a projection of the depth wisdom of the psyche, by participating in a ritual, participating in the myth, you are being, as it were, put in accord with that wisdom, which is the wisdom that is inherent within you anyhow. Your consciousness is being re-minded of the wisdom of your own life. I think ritual is terribly important.”
I know that it’s hard to find the time to write. There is always too much to do in any given day. But if writing is something you want to do then there has to be a place for it in your day.
Everyone has a daily ritual in order to get somewhere on time. Work, school, childcare, you know the drill. Include in that ritual fifteen minutes to half an hour to write.
If the morning is impossible, then add a writing space to the evening ritual. Brush teeth, put on pajamas, enter writing space.
“It ain’t so easy writing about nothin”
― Patti Smith, M Train
She’s right. It’s hard to write about nothing. It’s the writer and air. The blank page. So, consider the space and consider entering it with intention. With ritual.
Christina for Penpaperwrite
Remember we have a new and improved 60 Scenes® Writing Method 1-Day Workshop coming up on January 25th, 2020. Only 15 participants accepted.
Register now at www.60scenes.com
There is only one workshop like 60 Scenes®.
If you want to learn how to Storyboard your novel with 60 dramatic moments using the Three Act Dramatic Structure, the Outer Journey of Plot and the Inner Journey of the Hero all in one day, register now. We fill up fast.
I will be teaching the January workshop, so see you there!