The thing about writing rituals. . .

Almost every person who writes has a certain writing ritual.

Some can’t write unless it is night, and the moon is full, and the wind is blowing exactly in the western direction, and a rose is tucked in between the thumb and pinkie of their left hand!

While there are some who can write just about anytime, anywhere, anyhow.

Writing rituals are as old as the art of writing itself.
Here are some famous writing rituals :

* Victor Hugo wrote in the nude.
To ward off procrastination, he would send his valet away, with all of his clothes and lock himself up in his room till he wrote something satisfactory.

*Truman Capote called himself ‘the horizontal writer’. He always wrote lying down, claiming that he couldn’t think sitting down or standing up.

*Ernest Hemingway wrote “The Old Man and the Sea” standing up!

*Friedrich Schiller liked to have a smell of rotten apples, concealed beneath his desk, under his nose when he was composing poetry.

*Voltaire, a French Enlightenment writer, used his lover’s naked back as a writing desk.

While it is easy to dismiss these as quirks – mildly amusing, and entirely personal tendencies, the point to be noted is these difficult writing rituals didn’t stop these great men from writing.

Voltaire had to persuade his lover over and over again for participation, Schiller had to keep an abundant supply of apples, whilst Hemingway had to deal with pain in the legs!

The moral of the story is – There are no excuses. It’s well and good if you have your own little quirky writing ritual, but at the end of the day, if you haven’t filled enough empty pages with the ink of your pen, the world will never know about you and your work.

THAT, is where discipline comes into play.
You’ve got to show up, everyday, whether or not you are inspired, whether or not the words flow out of you with ease.
It doesn’t matter.

Quality will follow, readership will follow, fame and name will follow – once you start showing up.

The world is interested in the finished product, and if that is good enough, maybe someday they will want to know more about you, your story, your writing rituals, your eccentricities.

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5 comments on “The thing about writing rituals. . .

  1. I am curious to know what your writing ritual is.

    Let me guess… Staying awake till late nights thinking and then penning down thoughts. πŸ˜€

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