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March 22nd, 2004, 12:22 PM
I asked before why people write. Now I'm curious of something else.

How do you prepare to write?

I'm not asking do you research or outline before you start your manuscript. I'm asking how to you mentally prepare yourself before you sit at the keyboard and begin typing? What is your writing ritual? How to you prevent writer's block or do you?

Let me explain by what I've recently started doing with a bit of an introduction.

Being 225, I wanted to lose some weight (and get my cholesterol down) I adopted a semi-vegetarian lifestyle (of the fish and fowl variety). I eat nothing but fruit before noon, vegetables with chicken or fish (sometimes sushi) for lunch and similar food for dinner. I snack on vegetables or fruits if I get the urge. Not only did I lose 25 pounds in 6 weeks (WOO~HOO) I also discovered something. I was at my most creative in the morning just after I ate my fruit. Here is what I do now.

Before I start writing, I get breakfast (usually 4 or 5 pieces of fruit and often just oranges). I wash the fruit and take it to my desk where Iíll open Ďwinampí and crank up some music to block out all other noises. Iíll make sure Iím in a quiet, undisturbable place (usually after Iíve taken my daughter to school). Iíll cut my fruit into pieces and eat my fruit and listen to music for about 15-20 minutes.

Once Iíve eaten and washed my hands (it is fruit ya know) Iíll open word and go for it. What Iíve noticed over the past few weeks is Iíve NOT experienced writers block. I can write for as long as I want (or can) and writerís flow prevails. Itís amazing.

So what do YOU do to get prepared? Do you do anything? Do you think a Ďritualí would help you better prepare? Am I off my rocker and bound for insanity?

March 22nd, 2004, 12:29 PM
Simple. I listen closely to determine if the kids are really asleep. I walk up the stairs and listen again to be sure.
Then I rush down, boot the computer, and write like hell before one of them wakes up and calls for me.
'bout all the ritual I can get in.

March 22nd, 2004, 12:35 PM
Off your rocker? Certainly not, I'd say rituals are a brilliant idea as long as they work for you.

I am quite envious, I have no such thing as an average day... My time is split between working for a healthcare agency and trying to make historical replicas to sell. Some days I am out of the house at the crack fo dawn to travel to a hospital miles away, when I do this I don't aften get home until late and I find it very dificult to do any writing at all. When I am working from home I quite often break up my work with a brief period of writing, I can't really afford to spend anywhere near as much time at the computer as I'd like.

I suppose when I do write a decent amount it goes something like this...

I switch on the laptop and put some music on the stereo. I get myself a beer and sit in a little rocking chair in the corner of the room with the laptop on my knee. If things are going well the beer stands forgotten for some time, if not then it is something to keep me occupied so I don't get too stressed about not writing (also I LOVE beer! :)).


P.S. Congrats on the weight loss!

March 22nd, 2004, 03:05 PM
I used to at one time, before I went back to work. It was late mornings and afternoons most writing was done. An empty house helps the ideas flow....

Evenings were usually research/reading and writing on forums...

Now I try amd fit in the writing when and where I can, when I went back to work I was trying to write at all hours of the night and early morning, existing on little sleep, Maybe that added to the fact that my health gave out.. maybe it didn't.

Now I don't write much in the evenings, mostly posts on either collab threads here or role play ones elsewere, these I write for fun and to stretch my ideas a bit...

Though sometimes I do write my personal work, but more often it is editing..... most major new work is done on a weekend, Saturday afternoons seem to be the best...

Rituals as such no..... just like peace and quiet or my choice of music playing....

March 22nd, 2004, 04:32 PM
Originally posted by Holbrook
my choice of music playing....
I'm sure there's something in the Geneva Convention about that... :D :p


March 22nd, 2004, 08:22 PM
I turn on Winamp and load a playlist according to the mood of the scene I'm preparing to write. If it's action, maybe I'll listen to The Matrix soundtrack and some Marilyn Manson, etc. If it's sad, I'll listen to The Virgin Suicides soundtrack and K-PAX, etc. I have a ton of soundtracks.
I can sometimes write a scene in quiet, without music--but only if it's truly quiet. If there are kids playing outside my window, or the TV going in another room, I turn on my music.

That's really all. I prefer to write with a bottle of water and some candy close at hand. And I get immersed in the writing, so any little noise might startle me, which is embarrassing.

March 22nd, 2004, 10:43 PM
Normally I wait until my daughter is soundly asleep and not likely to come downstairs and ask me things, and then I make a nice cup of tea to keep me awake, because it's often late by then.

I sit at my computer, space heater by my feet (my computer is in the basement) and sip my tea while going over character sketches or previously written chapters to refresh everything in my memory. Then I try to work on a new chapter. But usually I don't actually produce very much because it's late, and I'm tired from being at work all day and then running after a five-year old all evening. (A lame excuse, I know...)

I like to listen to music but I find instrumental works better. Music with lyrics sometimes distracts me, but I will listen to anything as long as it fits the mood of what I'm writing.

If I really feel stuck or frustrated I'll take a break from writing and visit sffworld or check my e-mail.

I guess those things wouldn't qualify as rituals, but that's what I do.