Writing prep rituals can keep our productivity levels at high gear. Best of all, they don’t need to be elaborate to work well either. Small rituals work best, because we can perform them any time to get us into the right writing mood.
The worst situation for a writer is when he can’t feel comfortable with his surrounding. If there are any disturbing factors, it is so easy to make excuses on why we don’t write. I know this too well as I experience this type of situation right now.
My house is a mess, I can’t find anything anymore and my creative sanctuary has been ripped apart, all because we are doing some renovations. That means right now I have to dig very deep to find that special space to keep me writing undisturbed. To make matters worse, my birds are also feeling the difference in the house and act accordingly. This puts a huge strain on my days and make working a lot harder than in normal circumstances.
But hold on, isn’t a writer supposed to be flexible?
Exactly, the whole beauty of working as a freelance writer is to be able to work anywhere in the world with a laptop computer and an Internet connection. While this sounds all great in theory, in practice it is often complicated if not a little hard to implement.
By working at home we are within the same environment day in and day out (much like working in a job), but when we travel, this environment changes, sometimes daily.
Therefore it is most important to create a space (visual, mental and actual) around our work area, wherever we are, regardless whether this is at home or on the road.
How to create your instant writer’s zone
To do this we need to surround ourselves with items that help us make the connection from playtime to work. Some people can do this with their willpower alone and if push came to shove I might be able to stretch to this myself, but to be honest, I would miss my little writing prep ritual: the preparation of my mind and my workspace to help me make that transformation as smooth as possible.
Benefits of writing prep rituals
The obvious benefit is the creation of a “special zone’ in which we can work without distractions by switching to the right mind set.
Another benefit is the instant way we react to the environment around us. A minute ago we felt stressed out and fussed about the state of the room in which we write and now we feel calm, collected and ready to tackle our working day.
To create your very own special writing prep ritual you really don’t need much. For me it is the following “tools” that put me in the right writing mood:
- A clean workspace
- My laptop computer
- Broadband Internet
- My Moleskine diary
- My favorite pen
- Unlimited access to cups of herbal tea and one coffee/day
- Plenty of nibbles in the fridge
That’s it. I can take any of these things with me, even when I travel, except of course the nibbles in the fridge. But even that can be substituted for other foods that keep my brain working at top performance.
Creative workspace killers
The worst part for any writer is in my eyes a destructive environment and clutter. Although I have plenty of clutter around me right now – the bathroom is in the kitchen and the bedroom is so full it looks like a store room – my little writing prep ritual keeps me grounded amongst the mess.
We all face distractions every day. Writing prep rituals help us to step over them and use our concentration for what needs to be done.
I even use a certain layout to keep my writing prep tools around me. It might sound trivial, but I truly believe this little ritual keeps me grounded.
The actual writing prep ritual is pretty straight forward. All I do is clean my laptop if it is dirty, pour myself a cup of tea, position my diary, pen and off I go. It works because I take my focus from where it was to my work by arranging my stuff and setting myself up for the right mind set.
Do you have a writing prep ritual? If so, would you care to share what is involved?
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