What Are Your Writing Rituals?
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Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:04 am
I'm taking a creative writing class this coming semester, and I'm going to try to get the book read before school starts because I'm taking more units than usual.

The textbook is, "The Practice of Creative Writing" by Heather Sellers, who also authored a memoir about Face Blindness (prosopagnosia), which I have informally diagnosed myself with, so I definitely want to read that too.

Anyway, Sellers recommends coming up with rituals before and after writing (lighting candles and such). I'm a little stumped as to what to do, so I'm a) curious and b) hoping for suggestions. I know that a lot of citizens of Zantarni are aspiring writers, so:

1. Do you do rituals to get you in the mood for writing?
2. What are your rituals?
3. What do you think of the concept of creating a ritual in regard to writing?

I think it sounds dumb, myself, but since I have been unable to maintain a daily habit of writing, I'm thinking of coming up with some rituals.
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LillieRose
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Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:21 am
I never really took any kind of course in creative writing, although now that I think about it, maybe I should. I completely rely on my talent for words and how to put them together, and it sometimes comes out clumsy. XD

I'm a translator, so I do often have the opportunity to sort of rewrite what has already been written in another language. That's good practice too, but it often leaves me with a big mess in my head, thinking on several languages isn't easy. XD

I don't have any rituals when I sit down to write something, although before I wrote my last story (which was the story of the scarecrow for the Halloween contest here at Zan), I was greatly inspired by the overall Halloween mood of Zan and Neil Gaiman's short story that he wrote for his fans and released it free of charge on Audible. I found myself thinking about which way I want to take the story and it helped that I had the time to muse over the details while I was walking to and from work, while listening to some very cool music I had found at the time.

The writing itself happened while I was at work, I had a one hour pause between two of my classes, so I just sat down with a candy bar and wrote the story. I guess I was also inspired by the reactions of my students to Neil Gaiman's story (because I played it to them as practice for their listening skills) and just their overall excitement over Halloween as well.

So bottom line, I guess my rituals include the walks when I have time to think about the details I want to weave into my story and the influences that I receive during those walks. :3

So yes, I think rituals do get you into the writing mood, but you also need to be inspired to write, find a reason to tell a story. Without that, the rituals would have no use. XD

I hope this gives you at least some insight into the questions you asked. :3

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Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:04 pm
Lillie! Heart

Do you translate, like, fiction, or what? You've got to be really good at two languages to be able to do that well. I can't even imagine being that good at another language...

The cool thing about writing for short challenges, like Halloween or whatever, is that there's no pressure. It doesn't have to be great "literature", so you can just write. Usually there's a prize, but it tends to be something you can buy on the market later, so it's not a huge deal.

As for inspiration -- I have that nearly constantly, except for when I sit down to write. Then I get all tense, and my head empties of it all. I think that's why the ritual may help -- it's like telling the brain, okay, time to fly free and be crazy now. Maybe if I do something goofy or embarrassing right before I start writing, it'll free me up. As it is, my only ritual seems to be to wait until I'm too tired to procrastinate anymore. Very Happy

Thank you for your response. Very Happy That was very helpful.

Last night, I tried my first ritual. I sat with my eyes closed for 5 minutes (timed), wrote poetry for another 5 minutes, did brainstorming for 10 minutes, and then did 20 minutes of working on the short story I've been working on, and then did 20 minutes of re-reading what I already have on a different, longer story I haven't looked at in a while, and then I did 5 more minutes of poetry, and that was it.

I think tonight (or this morning), I'll skip the poetry because it really didn't go well last night. I think I'll do thirty-five minutes of the short story I've been working on, and then twenty-five minutes on the longer story...we'll see how that goes.
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Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:34 pm
I'm actually translating into and from three languages (my mother tongue, the language of the country I was born and live in and English as the language I chose to study). And no, I haven't gotten to fiction yet, I mostly translate historical or other scientific texts, lately I've been doing a lot of tourist info stuff, papers of friends related to mass media, things like that. :3

But it does require a lot of preparation and commitment, like writing. Like I said, you're rewriting someone else's thoughts in another language. :3

I'm glad it was helpful. Yes

You're ritual sounds good. I never tried timing how much I spend writing. Maybe I'll do that next time. XD

Oh good luck! :3

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Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:32 pm
That is awesome. What are the other two languages you speak?

Um, yeah. It would take a lot of focus and dedication to be able to do that.

Oooh, I was on a role, baby. Did 1518 words, which brings my story to just shy of 5k words so far. I was on such a roll with my short story that I spent the entire hour on that. I forgot to do brainstorming, but I didn't need it.
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Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:56 pm
They are not some wildly popular languages, I speak Hungarian and Serbian. Hungarian is my mother tongue and Serbian is the language of the country where I was born. XD

Alright! Go Crystal, go! :3

I'm cheering for you.

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Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:33 pm
You must be in high demand, then.

Lol, thanks. Very Happy
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