Creating Writing Rituals That Work

Creating Writing Rituals That Work

Even if you don’t feel like writing!

We’ve all had those days. Days where just rolling out of bed seems like too much effort. Not to mention, writing is hard work on the best of days. What do you do when you have goals and deadlines you’ve agreed to?

One way you can set yourself up for success is to create a writing ritual. One that moves your writing forward and create a habit that will get you moving no matter how you feel.

Creating Rituals

When you begin to create rituals for yourself, the first place to look is what you are currently doing and what is working? If something is working, keep doing that. However, if you are struggling to maintain what you are currently doing, perhaps looking at the following items will help you find ways that work.

1. Setting: Where are you currently writing? Does that work? If it doesn’t seem to be working, look around, what things do you like about your space? What things aren’t working? If your space is in the living room with your kids running around and the TV on, perhaps it is time to carve out another space. What about a coffee shop? Are there too many distractions? Do you need quiet or a bit of chaos?

2. Time of Day: There are writers who swear by morning writing and others who can’t write until their families go to bed? Still others who write on their lunch hours, if they get one. What time of day to you feel the most creative? Are you a morning person and don’t mind getting up an extra 45 minutes earlier to write? Or, do you feel your energy renewed in the evening and can crank out 1000 words with little effort? Finding the perfect time of day may take some experimentation but eventually you will find your sweet spot.

3. Beverage: I cannot begin my writing ritual without a hot cup of coffee. I may not drink it all but the sips I take help me to think and unclog my mind. Do you need coffee, tea? Or, nothing but water. If you write in the evening, does a glass of wine help you to relax and pump out those words? Do you need anything at all while you write, finding liquids too distracting? Not to mention, all the trips to the bathroom break up your flow.

4. Tools: What are your favorite tools you can’t live without? Do you need to write (and count) every word on a lap top or tablet? Can you write with a simple word processing program or do you like something with a bit more substance, such as Scrivener? Do you like the sound of that old typewriter, to get those creative juices flowing? What about pen and paper? Do you like writing with a roller ball or fountain pen? What about pencils or gel pens? Having your favorite tools on hand and in good working order takes away any barriers that may keep you from sitting down to write.

5. Music or Silence: This is a hotly debated subject within my personal writing communities. Some of my fellow writers create writing play lists on their favorite music sites. Others, like myself, prefer mellow music, played at random, often without words. Still others need absolute silence and resent any breakthrough sounds. What type of environment you can write in is a matter of taste. There is no wrong answer. However, a word of caution, if you feel the need to create a writing play list to accompany your current WIP, please do so outside of your chosen writing time. It takes time to create the perfect music list; time that you’ve dedicated to writing.

To be a writer, you need to write. It’s as simple and as difficult as that. Creating rituals can encourage writing. By spending a few minutes to think about what works for you, will help in the long run to keep you writing.

My Own Ritual

My own ritual involves the previously mentioned coffee, lighting a candle, a short affirmation and then morning pages with some meditative music playing in the background. I read Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way, a few years ago and have been hooked on morning pages ever since. Once those words are done, I’m warmed up and ready to begin work on my current project. After my words are written, I blow out my candle and move on to the rest of my day.

This ritual is what works for me. Though it has evolved over the past few years, the basics don’t usually change. I’ve been able to create and maintain my writing habit so that even when I don’t feel the muse, I can still sit down and get the words out. They may not be the most wonderful words I’ve ever written but the truth is you can revise crappy words but cannot do anything with a blank page.

Until next time,
Angela

P.S. I have openings for creativity coaching. Please click Yes! I want to work with you!!! and we can get started.

Updates and an Opportunity

Updates and an Opportunity

I must apologize, I’ve been missing in action for the past few weeks. When I said enough is enough, I meant it.

I’ve been finishing up with some classes and getting some organization done. Things have been busy as usual around here.

We are currently finishing our 4th winter and the forecast looks good. But, since I live in Michigan, anything goes with the weather.

Days are getting longer and I am grateful for that. The wildflower seeds I ordered are here and I want to plant. Of course, all the snow needs to melt for that to happen.

In the past several months, I’ve been working on my coaching certificates, both in creativity coaching and soul based coaching. Neither are finished but but I am getting close.

Being close means that I am ready to begin seeing clients. Actually, I need to see clients in order to complete my requirements.

What does that mean for you?

Well, you have an opportunity to receive free coaching, up to 3 sessions, with the only requirement being open and willing to give a “green” coach a try.

Now this won’t last forever, so if you want to see what coaching is all about now is your chance.

Please click on the link below and fill out the form. I will get back to you to set up a time. All sessions will be held via Zoom and can be done through your phone.

Yes, I am interested in coaching!

I can’t wait to hear from you,
Until next time,
Angela

The Millions of Things That Stifle Creativity

So, I have this list.

It’s a list of things that keep me from being my creative self, namely writing. Because the truth is I haven’t written much in weeks and I’m feeling the need to confess this sin.

The list I have is long and I’ll bet we all have some of the same ones. Here they are in no particular order of importance:

 

Dishes
Laundry
No Time
Family
To-Do list
Low Energy
Work
Social Media
High Expectations of myself
Fears
Clutter
Guilt

 

This list isn’t extensive, nor do they represent everything that gets in my way. I’m also certain that each reader could add their own. The main issue is that these are the excuses that keep dreams from happening.

The Real Culprit

I have discovered recently that the real culprit isn’t any of these things listed. Oh, sure most of this stuff probably needs to be done and checked off that to-do list but that isn’t what holds us back.

For me the real culprit is shame.

Shame is one of those emotions we all have, yet no one talks about.

Shame is that emotion that, given enough time, wears away at your self-concept, your self esteem.

It is insidious and ugly and we can’t escape it.

The Good News

Yes, there is good news.

According to Brene Brown, shame cannot survive the light. Shining a light on the areas of shame in your life can be the beginning of healing.

Brown states that the best way to combat shame is to have compassion and empathy for yourself.

Sounds simple, right?

Nothing is as simple as all that.

The Game Plan

Brown’s definition of shame is:

“Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging – something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection.”

The translation for me is when I tell myself I am a terrible person because I didn’t get my To-Do list complete and things aren’t perfect around me.

Sound familiar?

To combat this is to bring awareness to the messages we are telling ourselves.

Here are some examples of messages that often float through my brain:

“I am a horrible person because I can’t even keep up on my to do list”

I’m learning to make statements like this:

“My life is full and sometimes overwhelming, so if I don’t get everything done today,

I’m okay. I can work on it tomorrow.”

Or, one of my personal favs:

“Hey, I managed to get the clothes from the washer to the dryer in the same day – Yay me!”

I have been using a lot of my emotional energy beating myself up for my “failures.” Now that I’ve realized that I’ve been living in the land of shame, I can direct these energies toward more positive and productive endeavors. And, maybe get something checked off my To-Do list.

Working on the Problem

Which brings me back to those things that keep me from writing. Finding grace for myself when I don’t accomplish those tasks for myself is important.

Being compassionate when I don’t have the energy is another way to combat shame.

 

When I have compassion and I allow myself grace, I find that my energy increases and I can do those things I want to do.

I’ve found this process can create a snowball effect. Awareness brings a change in energy which then rises allowing me to accomplish small things. Counting the small victories gives way to the bigger victories (like getting a blog post out in a timely manner). The more progress and victories, the more shame retreats into its dark corner.

Until next time, when the process begins all over.

Hopefully, this time, the light won’t be too far behind.

Until next time,
Angela