There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein. Walter Wellesley “Red” Smith
Ah, how I love that quote. I shared it with my husband (who’s not a writer) and he looked at me for a long moment before going, “Huh?” I guess to truly appreciate it, you have to know what it’s like to sweat blood onto paper and then think your blood isn’t red enough.
So, in an attempt to get you to understand our “process” (or possibly to show you just how strange we writers are), this go-around we’re talking about weird writing rituals. I’m working on book two of my urban fantasy series (tentatively titled Entangled), and I’ve done my fair share of weird “ritualing.”
When I was writing my first book—only my second full-length manuscript; the first will never see the light of day—I did everything short of standing on my head to get the words to flow.
I Skyped with one of my writer friends who swore by writing longhand. I tried that, and it worked for a short while. A very short while.
Then I read somewhere that someone else “wrote” while taking walks around her neighborhood. She’d dictate notes into the voice recorder on her phone. I tried that one night while lying in bed. My husband, who was taking a bath, poked his head out of the bathroom.
“What’s that creepy sound?” he asked, looking around with shifty eyes. I sighed and told him it was just me, talking softly into the recorder. After that I was too self-conscious to continue with the dictation plan.
What I’ve consistently stuck with, though, are the steps that lead up to my writing.
Step one: Get a giant tumbler of coffee.
Step two: Open the blinds in the study.
Step three: Turn on my sun lamp (even if it’s bright outside, I have to have my sun lamp on).
Step four: Write! Something about lots of bright light makes me write more productively.
If we ever move to some place like Seattle, I’ll have to buy stock in one of the sun lamp companies. At the very least, one whole wall of my study would have to be lined with them.
If you write, do you have a weird writing ritual you’d like to share? If you’re a reader, do you have a reading ritual?