We’re kicking off our series on writing rituals a week early. The Spellbound Scribes has added a new member, Nadja Notariani, to our scribedome, so not only will you have a full month of reading about quirky writing habits, but an extra week to boot!
The term ‘writing ritual’ implies there’s a method to the madness. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those writers that subscribe to the tried and true methods of writing a book. If you’re reading this post to get insights or direction on how to outline, create character profiles, or how to simply write, you can keep on moving…nothing to read here, folks!
I don’t write to music (sorry, no nifty soundtrack in this post), nor do I have a scheduled time of the day when I write. I don’t follow a linear outline as I write; in fact, I often write scenes in random order.
So what are my writing rituals?
Okay, so I may not listen to music, but I’m a total TV gal, so the tube must be on at all times. This generally involves watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer when I’m working on a new book. Because I’ve seen all seven seasons so many times, I tend not to get too distracted as I’m writing. While I do have soundtracks for my books, I don’t create them until after I’m done.
I don’t have a trusted assistant like some mega authors do, so I have to rely on my own memory to remember certain aspects of my universe. So, more often than not, I have to go back and re-read my previous works in my series to make sure dates, names, and places are accurate. Yeah, I spend a lot of time doing this.
Many writers have daily specific word count goals they try to meet, while others, like me, tend to go with the flow. I do, however, have a simple goal…write everyday. I have my good days and bad days, but I generally feel pretty good even if I only get a sentence or two in. If it matters, Sunday’s tend to be my best writing days. I don’t know what it is about that day, but the words just seem to flow.
The only constant in my writing routine is my involvement in A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80). I started this writing challenge, offered four times a year, when I first started publishing my work and I have to say that it’s been a wonderful experience. The writers that are involved are a tremendous source of inspiration and support, I don’t think I could have gotten this far without them. Coincidentally, this is how I first met up with Nadja! So for those writers out there that have a life, need a little encouragement, or just want to set some simple goals for your writing, the next round begins July 2nd.
If you can already tell by this post, I love the flexibility that comes with being a writer. I write when and where I want. Sometimes at home, other times at my favorite coffee shop. Work attire is casual, whether it be writing in my p.j.’s or showing up in flops. And as an indie writer, I set my own deadlines and run my business as I please.
So, while I don’t follow the conventional guidelines for writing, I do follow the wisdom of Stephen King: write every day and read a lot. (Totally paraphrasing here)
6 thoughts on “My Writing Ritual…or Lack Thereof”
Hi, Claudia! Love your post. I don’t set daily word counts either. I simply sit down and write every day. What happens, happens. I’m more content with 500 words that need little more than copy editing instead of 1000 that need completely revamped. But that’s me :} And…that’s the beauty of being an Indie Author, as you so nicely stated! I do what I want…lol.
Thanks Nadja and welcome! I agree, if I force it, I just end up writing a lot of words I ultimately have to delete later. I’d rather focus and get what I truly want to capture at my own pace.
Love how flexible you are! That’s what so magical about writing–books come from so many different methods, and yet they all manage to hook us and draw us in (well, they’re supposed to, anyway :D).
Couple of things in common but lots not in common! Don’t want to spoil it for my own post though! Lol!
Writing is a wonderful job to have. When you’re not writing, you can people watch (loads of writing fodder available from the innocent passerby in the street) and, as you say, read read read!
I do that often! When I’m at the coffee shop, I like to listen (it’s not eavesdropping if they’re loud) to their conversations 🙂 And yes, I read tons! Books alway inspire me to keep writing.