1. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Soothing Writing Rituals--What's your safety blanket?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by madhoca, Mar 2, 2011.

    I've just read an odd article about how to get started more quickly and avoid writer's block. Basically, it seemed to be saying that if you found you wrote well/more that time you'd just had a drink of hot chocolate, well then, you should always get a hot chocolate ready before attempting a writing session.

    Just as I was thinking this was total tosh, I realised that:

    - I have had the same mouse pad for the last 6 years, and even though my kids give me new ones (you don't want to hear about how chewed-up looking the old one is), I feel... wrong without my old friend by my side.
    - Also, my work area has been arranged the same way for the last three years, and I can't start until everything is lined up in order, even though I never use half the things on my desk.
    - When I want to work on my novel, for the last few months I've always changed into the same polar jacket (don't ask--I can just say the washing dries on the radiator in a few hours).

    I wondered if any of you lot had soothing rituals which helped you work better--or if you can see the problems of always needing your 'safety blanket' before any work gets done...
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    It makes a lot of sense - like for meditation or prayer the quickest way to prepare yourself and to get your mind in the right zone is to perform some form as ritual. Can be as simple as dropping to your knees by your bed everynight or a more elabotate prayer alter or bodily positions.

    My only real one is the music i listen to - each piece has their own. Gus and Iris have got me with three Cliff Richard songs on a loop.
     
  3. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    For me it been the hours i kept. Writing has been something I done in late nights and in the small hours of the night. But since I become more tired in evening, and now I'm usually feeling my best in the mornings I forced myself to writing in the morning.

    But it took me months to realize that being unable to get something writing during the night didn't necessarily mean i couldn't get it written some other time of the day.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i can see a problem with needing any sort of ritual or whatever to be able to write... it's extremely limiting!

    instead of enhancing your creativity, it hampers it...

    w/o any ritual or 'must have's, you can write anytime, anywhere, with anything available... which is what most seasoned and successful writers do...
     
  5. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well. Human like rituals. Every morning we do or morning rituals of brushing your teath, etc in ow own specific order and way. Each time you head training you go trough the same preparations. Each time you travel, you prepare you self in pretty much the same way.

    Humans are naturally inclined to create patterns that work on auto pilot, rather then improvising everything all the time. If we can use that natural tendency to easier slip into the writer frame of mind that is great.
     
  6. WriterKristen
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    WriterKristen New Member

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    Haha :) I do like your ideas for safety blankets! Especially the polar jacket.. that made me laugh!

    Now mine sounds boring.. I need to have a coffee. It doesn't matter if it's instant either, because that's usually what I've only got. I need to stick to my daily routine as well so I have to fit my writing in around that. I swear I have a little bit of OCD... without my routine I can't function!
     
  7. Speedy
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    Speedy Contributing Member Contributor

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    One hot cup of coffee, with way to much sugar and a big spoon of caffeine.

    A big stretch, yawn and look out the window. Than the writing begins.
     
  8. sidtvicious
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    sidtvicious Contributing Member Contributor

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    When I have a deadline and need to crank something large off and don't want it to be bull**** flowing down ink and paper, I smoke Lucky Strikes, much heavier than the typical brand of cig I smoke. Over-concentrated nicotine, may be bad for my health, but it's one of the few things that can mellow my nerves out enough to pull off anything.
     
  9. tiggertaebo
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    tiggertaebo Member

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    While you can write anywhere anytime I definately understand the benefits of certain things helping you get in the correct mindset to write. For me I generally just need my "comfy" headphones and a nice long playlist of familiar music (if the music is new to me I focus on it too much), in the past though there have been various things that I've "needed" such as specific pens etc.
     
  10. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I try to write when I can. Sometimes I like things to be right (music, coffee, smokes) and sometimes I really don't need them, sometimes I really don't want them. I don't get much time to write something with my full attention, or mental capacity, but I always try to do something.
     
  11. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    I guess the main thing is to have my own private space, and preferably be alone. I like to be in my own room, or be on a desk away from other people. When I get ideas during lectures and seminars, when on the bus and train etc. I have to scribble it down with my hand/arm covering the paper because my writing is private and I don't like other people seeing my rough ideas.
     
  12. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    ^ There has been many times in lectures or seminars when I've just doodled a few lines. I wrote a few lines yesterday about a bunch of people in a pub in heavy snow fall. I might make something of it some day.
     
  13. Porcupine
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    Porcupine Contributing Member

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    No rituals. I just need a feeling of tranquility, which I can get simply by knowing (or feeling) that nobody will come up and disturb me within a certain measure of time. Given that feeling, I can blend out ambient noise and can write easily in an airport or railway station.
     
  14. Pallas
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    Pallas Contributing Member Contributor

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    I just need some quiet, but that is harder to come by with noisy neighbors, streets, jet planes flying overhead....:(

    When it is quiet, I just say "okay you idiot, start writing!" and away I go, maybe.....
     
  15. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    ^ Haha, I'm like that sometimes.
     
  16. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    It can hardly be classed as soothing, but I intersperse my writing sessions with working out. I always write late at night in the living room, in total silence, by which time the rest of the household has gone to bed.

    I'll write for anything up to half an hour, then hit the floor for a while, do press-ups, stretching, stomach crunches etc. It seems to re-energise me, then I'll sit back on my chair and write for a while again. I usually repeat this process three or four times.

    It's like a long session for the body and mind, and leaves me feeling like I've really achieved something worthwhile.

    Well, you did ask....;)
     
  17. Silver_Dragon
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    Silver_Dragon Senior Member

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    I also need a quiet place where I can work, though sometimes I like getting out to coffee shops when I'm writing to feel a bit more connected to the rest of humanity. :p I don't have much else in the way of rituals except making hot chocolate or tea to drink while I'm writing.
     
  18. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have this weird habit of picking a pen I like and 'deciding' it is my writing pen. If I lose that pen I will tear a room appart looking for it, even if I have a hundred others just like it sitting off to the side. I want my writing pen!

    Sadly, none of my pens have ever run out of ink. They keep getting lost. :(
     
  19. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Aaagh! I've just discovered another stupid thing--I always keep the same wallpaper on my laptop. I don't know why, since once I'm writing I don't see it, obviously, but I need to have those african violets winking at me when I turn the laptop on.
     
  20. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think this is a good idea I am going to set up a writing space once the loft dries out complete with plant, pictures, to inspire. Looking forward to this lol.
     
  21. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm like that. I have a specific pen to write in my diary, to write notes at university, to write fiction etc.
     
  22. Annûniel
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    Annûniel Contributing Member Contributor

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    When I settle down to do some writing, it has to be dark and quiet. Usually I put on some headphones and listen to either music or nature-type sounds. I pull the laptop onto my bed and get to it.

    I also find that taking a long nature walk through woods and across rivers and the like helps to inspire me. So I try to go on walks frequently.
     
  23. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Well, I find that when I write best, it's when I'm dressed in jeans and a red shirt. My watch strapped tightly on my left wrist and my sneakers tightly fastened on my shoes. The room is dark except for my desk light, the dogs are downstairs, and I have a cup of coffee or coke.

    I close my eyes and take deep breaths, to quell the inevitable anxiety that will creep up.

    "This is just the first draft, man. Just write it. You can hammer it into a masterpeice later."

    Then, I begin to type.
     
  24. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    I just need pens. I know it's weird when I do a lot of typing, but it's not a desk without a full desk tidy of pens and pencils. It's also very very easy to keep that ritual going wherever I am - I just keep a full pencil case with me, or at least have a couple of spares. I get anxious when I don't have more than one - I left my pencil case in Hastings last month, and I've been going around scrounging up all the pens I can find and putting them in the bottom of my bag. I keep my favourite pen in my notebook and when it ran out I bought another instead of using one of the ones from my bag, but I just like knowing they're there. If I don't have a load I get worried my pen will run out and it makes me reluctant to write anything.
     
  25. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I write best when I'm in bed. Quite literally, I need my blankets there. I like to have pillows propped up behind me, heating on, laptop on my thighs with the duvet covering my knees.

    Usually ends to me getting quite sleepy, but that's ok. Also I'm a night owl, so I work best when It's dark out.
     

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