Every fortnight, I hold an Express Writing Room. It’s a fortnightly online “room” that I facilitate where the authors working in my Brain to Book program can get some writing done. It’s so hard to keep writing at the top of your to-do list (even when you are a writer). In the Express Writing Room, there is no such thing as writer’s block.
In the minutes before everyone started writing, we talked about overcoming mindset issues. One author went for a long cycle ride, another swims regularly, another sought the counsel of a psychic and developed some powerful affirmations to guide her.
The swimmer confessed that her sock drawer had never been so tidy before when she committed to writing her book. We all had a chuckle. Everything comes before writing! But another author challenged us all to consider whether the sock drawer was part of the process.
Little rituals can help you get in the mood to write or edit. Tennis great, Raphael Nadal, has an elaborate ritual before every serve, throwing the ball up three times and so on. Little rituals can help with mindset and make sitting down to write more fun. Light a candle, turn on Mozart, leave your phone in another room, make a pot of chai or go to a café.
Only you will know if you are using the sock drawer, swimming or cycling to procrastinate. But if it is part of a little ritual that always ends in writing with a confident, clear head, why not?
Both mindset and ritual are part of the writing process.
And professionals prioritise processes, whatever their field. That includes writers.
What is a funny little ritual you do to make a difficult task easier?