Wednesday, May 6, 2020

IWSG: Writing Rituals

Welcome to the first Wednesday of the month. You know what that means! It's time to let our insecurities hang out. Yep, it's the Insecure Writer's Support Group blog hop. If you're a writer at any stage of career, I highly recommend this blog hop as a way to connect with other writers for support, sympathy, ideas, and networking.

If you're a reader, it's a great way to peek behind the curtain of a writing life.

This month's question: Do you have any rituals that you use when you need help getting into the ZONE? Care to share?

The awesome co-hosts for the May 6 posting of the IWSG are Feather Stone, Beverly Stowe McClure, Mary Aalgaard, Kim Lajevardi, and Chemist Ken!

Two years ago my eldest daughter left for college, and for the first time in many years, I gained a writing room in the room-switching comedy that followed. I finally understand the value of that "room of one's own" that Virginia Woolf was always touting.

It's heaven, guys, even though it's half-remodeled and half still a storage room for the rest of the house. I have a window full of houseplants and a view into a tree-filled backyard, a door I can close (even if still has ninja turtle stickers on it), and an electric teakettle. I could stay here forever.

My ritual is pretty simple:

  • escape to my writing room (usually early evening)
  • turn on the teakettle
  • water my houseplants and talk to them for a moment or two
  • make a cuppa (usually Tension Tamer herbal tea, because I don't usually get to write until late in the day)
  • then pull up my document, read the bit where I left off yesterday and go

I usually leave myself an ALL CAPS NOTE at the end of a writing session with some thoughts about where to go next, which really helps me jump back in quickly. If it goes really well, my tea gets cold before I can drink it and I have to heat it back up.

If it doesn't go well, I write something else for one session (a blog post, a journal entry, a "play piece" bit of sidewriting), but I'm strict with myself about getting right back on the main task in the next session to stay moving forward. And I always at least get to enjoy the tea.

How about you? How do you cue your creative side that it's time to take over? I'd love to hear what works for you in the comments!


  1. I love all your plants in your writing room. That's great that you were able to create such an inspiring place to write.

  2. Your room sounds lovely, especially all the plants. I'd like to have more in my room.

  3. I love your window! And leaving yourself a note at the end for where you need to go next is very smart for getting back into the story the next day.

  4. I love that plant window! I wish I could do something like that and, you know, not kill every plant I put there.

    I have an office (doubles as a guest room) that I absolutely love, even if there are no ninja turtle stickers on the door. My significant other talks from time to time about moving, and I'll always, "I'm not leaving this room behind." So I think that means I'm going to have to be buried here one day.

  5. My plant window is definitely the best thing about the room. And I *have* killed a few plants, but most of the current ones have been with me for six months or more!

  6. I love that window of plants, and have to say I miss having a room of my own. I had an office in our last house, but now I have 'space' in the corner of our spare room. Could be worse, though. I also let many a cuppa go cold while writing!

  7. Leaving yourself a note at the end of a writing session is an inspired idea. I must start doing that. So brilliant. Thank you. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  8. I love that idea of leaving a note at the end of your current day's progress. Also, your ritual and your home sound quite lovely!

    Anne from

  9. I want a plant window like yours! It's lovely. Having your own writing place makes it easier to concentrate. Have a great writing month.

  10. Oh so lucky. I've always been a bit envious of writers who have their own writing room. My writing room depends on the type of chair I'm sitting in. The couch, kitchen chair or library chair. Enjoy your room.

    1. It's still in process, and not all I want it to be . . .but it's already heaven.