Some people believe writing isn’t worth doing unless you can attend to it in large blocks. But honestly, many of us can’t find more that 30 minutes at a time. How do you create the sacred space you need in the smaller chunks you need? Creating a writing ritual will make what ever time you have more special and possibly more productive.
Ritual and routine are sometimes used interchangeably but they really shouldn’t.
Ritual: a religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order.
Routine: a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program.
A routine is the plan and activity, but a ritual is what you do to make it special and sacred. Think of it as the difference between sitting down at a messy desk and carefully arranging your desk and lighting a candle to start up. Creating a ritual will tell your brain, its time to write.
A writing ritual is like inviting your muse on a romantic date instead of sitting in your cluttered mud room with day-old coffee.
In The Time of Covid-19 having rituals has become more and more important. Work time has blended with family time. Personal space and time is all but forgotten. You might have a communal work area in our kitchen so we can monitor the kids. We need to apply Parkinson’s Law to the other parts of our day. They need end times or you will never have time for anything else.
“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”Parkinson, Cyril Northcote
The basic steps to creating a ritual for me really depends on what i’m writing. Here’s how I get in the mood and tell the muse its time to write.
Space: Where and how are you writing?
lets be real. sitting down with paper and pen feels dramatically different than using a computer or tablet. Do you like sitting in bed? On the floor? some people like having a tv on in the back ground. the kitchen table or even hiding in the car might work for you. If you don’t have a specific spot, a special sweatshirt or blanket can become your spot.
Ambiance: the feeling of your space
Here is where we can start having real fun. Lighting is usually an easy fix, you can light candles, adding fragrance. you can get pretty detailed here, but i recommend only one or two things. preparing your special beverage in your favorite mug in a mindful manner. Set up you writing tools purposefully. here again, if you don’t have a specific spot, use a body spray and some portable objects to make your spot. I get that not all parents are comfortable using noise canceling headphones; I wasn’t until recently and my kids are in middle and high school! putting on cafe music and inviting the family for quiet unstructured time is always an idea.
Incantation: invite inspiration
Being mindful as you clean your space and set your things in order will make this last step much faster. there are a few methods to get centered and calm. if you can spare 5 more minutes, a guided meditation might hit the spot. Just closing your eyes and being tankful and appreciative of the time you have to hone your talent can be enough. ask you muse to join you for a hot cuppa and set to work.