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Friday, January 15, 2010
What Is Your Writing Ritual?
Most writers have a routine they follow before getting down to the business of writing. That blank page is a fearsome thing, and most of us need some help to face it. Some of the tricks we use to get started are very sensible and practical. Others are bizarre.
One prolific friend of mine has to play computer solitaire before writing. She won’t start until she has won five games. Willie Morris, author of North Towards Home, needed to have at least ten freshly sharpened pencils and a stack of paper before starting. Jack Ivancevich, author of more than 150 academic articles and dozens of textbooks, always stopped writing in the middle of a sentence so that he would have something to start on immediately the next day.
Ritual is important because it helps you form the habit of writing. Habits let you do things automatically, even things you normally resist doing. So, create yourself a ritual that will help you get going when it is time to write. Try to pick one that is simple, cheap and doesn’t waste too much time. How long does it take to win five games of solitaire, anyway?
My first love was reading, and my second love was writing. Deciding how to string words together fascinates me.
My interests and pursuits are wide ranging. I'm a self-employed educational entrepreneur and book packager. During my career I have worked as a consultant, professor, business owner, author and ghostwriter.