When I say writing rituals, do you think of candles, chalk lines and chants in the middle of the night? No need to worry if you are not into mysticism or meditation. Writing rituals for freelance writers are simply actions that help get the words flowing.
If you want to be a better or more prolific writer, check out these four actions that can boost productivity and help you finish your latest project.
1. The Muse Generator
The best writing is inspired, but prolific writers never wait on inspiration. << Click to Tweet This
What many people don’t realize is that you can generate your own muse. If you know your own abilities and desires, then you should have a vague understanding of what motivates you. You can use that knowledge to create inspiration.
Think about it now. When do your best story or writing ideas occur? For me, it’s in the car. If I could type while I drove, I’d get enormous amounts of work done. Obviously, that’s too dangerous to attempt, but I use that knowledge as a writing ritual.
Twice a week, I make an errand run into town. On the way home, I clear my mind and think about writing. By the time the 20 minute drive is over, I usually have an entire article or story planned out and spend a couple of hours typing furiously at the computer.
Figure out when inspiration is most likely to strike and create that event for yourself.
2. Clearing Your Physical and Mental Space
One thing that is sure to kill productivity is an overactive mind. You might be able to put many concerns on the back burner, but there is a lot of truth to “out of sight, out of mind.” If you are working in a cluttered space or can see the unmade bed, you might be distracted.
Take half an hour to put your physical space in order before you begin writing. You will sit down at the keyboard with a feeling of accomplishment that can also provide confidence for your work. Clearing clutter is a great writing ritual anytime you feel stuck in your work.
To ensure you don’t become too caught up in cleaning and miss your writing time, set a timer. Clean quickly and efficiently until the timer goes off, then move immediately into writing.
3. Fill Your Belly
One thing that is guaranteed to stop me cold at the keyboard is a growling stomach. At the same time, if I overeat, then drowsiness may impact my productivity.
I like to eat a small, high-protein meal before I begin a long grind before the blank page. Choose a small snack or meal that boosts your energy and keeps hunger at bay. Enjoy it outside or in a setting that relaxes you. Turn off the television and spend 15 to 20 minutes eating and thinking. Once you get to writing, you may be surprised at what happens.
If your schedule does not allow eating prior to writing, you can opt for a cup of coffee or hot tea. Choose invigorating flavors like mint or chai rather than chamomile or other teas that may make you sleepy.
4. Get Physical
Exercise is a great way to release tension, clear your mind and get yourself ready for a new task. Of course, you also get positive cardiovascular and endurance health benefits. I enjoy a brisk walk outside, but your writing ritual might include any number of physical activities.
If you are working on fiction, you might even want to try an activity your character would participate in for added inspiration. You could take karate lessons, ride horseback or try your hand at rock climbing. Who knows, you might discover a new ritual for future writing!
Writing rituals are just activities that help you focus, gear you up for time with a notebook or computer screen, and put anxieties or physical tension to rest. There is no magical formula or spell for these rituals, so you’ll have to try different things to see what works best for you. What is the oddest thing you do to relax or get ready before you begin a writing project?