Saturday, October 3, 2015

Creating a ritual around the writing

When forming a new, good habit, there is an element of “fake it until you make it”. There were a lot of things I was conquering in those early days of writing: waking up earlier than usual, pulling myself out of bed on cold winter mornings, trusting that I had words that others might want to read, and then simply writing the words.

I had a new wool GAP sweater I recently bought on clearance. I started pulling it on over my pajamas to warm me from the morning chill and coax me to my writing desk. A nail biter, I chewed my nails when I felt writer's block setting in. I slipped a chunky piece of costume jewelry on my right hand to encourage my fingers to keep typing.

I lit a candle for ambience and to set the writing mood. All of these things triggered “time to write” in my brain and helped create the habit. They became part of my writer's uniform and work environment. After a trip to the bathroom, I poured myself a warm cup of tea and set to work. I was relaxed and the words began to flow.

Some days the words formed the day's blog post, other days the words were glorified journal entries with no plans for being read by anyone else. Other days Astrid shared more of her story with me and I typed her words.

This early morning writing created a new cadence in my life. It was a new drum beat. I breathed easier having carved out this time for me. I was showing up. Doing the writing I had thought about but had never committed to. 

The rest of my days seemed to go more smoothly because of the early writing habit. It didn't matter what happened in my day job, I knew that early every morning I had done my “real work” and I felt settled for the rest of the day.

Days turned into weeks and weeks into months and I kept writing. The air warmed. I skipped pulling the sweater on because it was spring and then summer. My writing habit was formed. I didn't need the triggers anymore. The writing alone drew me to my desk each morning.

Early morning glow meeting myself and my words at the laptop


  1. I am going to be following your series. I want to write a book, but I am not sure how to start or if I can find the time.

    1. Welcome to 300 rejections, Melissa! I'm thrilled that you'll be reading along. Grateful. Remember, this is my approach for this first book. Who knows how I'll do the ones that come next! Writing this book was a dare for myself. I felt no pressure because I half didn't believe it would happen. The *no pressure* element is where the magic slipped in. I'm convinced of it. It has been pure joy writing and becoming acquainted with my characters. They are new friends. All the best in your pursuits!