Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Wednesday’s Writing: Writing Rituals Don’t Replace This…
When I first began writing, back in what my kids refer to as the 'Dark Ages', by which they meant before computers and the Internet, there were few guides for writers. The ones I read were staid, intellectual treatises that made writing seem like some kind of religion only the initiated could practice.
Times changed, and with the advent of the World Wide Web, lots of information and opportunities became available to writers. And with this deluge of information came all sorts of advice, much of it terrific. But some of it caused more confusion than clarity. You have probably come across some of these examples:
* Meditate before you write
* Use only pen and paper to capture your thoughts.
* Light candles around your writing space – certain scents inspire creativity.
* Write at dawn, when your work is blessed by the rising sun.
* Write at night, when the moon inspires you to greatness…….
Yeah, right. I started my career as a journalist. Imagine the effect of announcing that I couldn’t write the front page lead until I’d meditated, lit candles, and performed other rituals to bless my work……I'd have been quickly shown the door!
So I learned that there’s absolutely no substitute for putting your bum in the chair, hands on the keyboard, and - yes, writing. Sounds so simple, doesn't it? But there is magic in just starting to write, even a stream of consciousness that bears some faint resemblance to your story idea or non-fiction topic. mKeep going, putting those words down, and eventually, slowly, the words begin to form a coherent whole and your book is under way!
Sure I have my own rituals – got to check email & FB, and read over the last chapter I wrote before closing the computer sown for the night. There needs to be a coffee by the keyboard, too, but I know that nothing takes the place of actually getting the writing written!
Comment about your own writing rituals for a chance to win a copy of Naked Writing: The No Frills Way to Write Your Book, or a $10 Amazon gift certificate