Is your writing in a routine or a rut? How do we get our brains in “writing mode” when it’s time to put proverbial pen to paper? Here are some of my techniques from the doctor/writer perspective.
#1) Breakfast. Always breakfast first. I cannot create on an empty tummy. I don’t see how you are able to write a chapter while still fasting.
#2) Caffeine substance of your choice. My favorite is diet Dr. Pepper. Yes, I understand about chemicals and aspartame, but lordie help me, this is literally my only vice in the whole wide world. Let me have it. It makes my brain go!
#3) “Alone Day.” This is the code phrase that hubs and I use when we need (in a kind, loving sort of way) the other person to be quiet and leave the other one alone. I think the phrase comes from National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation, if memory serves. So I get up, have breakfast, take a swig of my Drug Of Choice, and announce to hubs, “Let’s have Alone Day today.” Bless him, but hubs is so well trained that he knows exactly what that means and generally takes himself off to the coffee shop or other activities that get him out of my hair.
#4) Epic. Yes, this item is pitiful and I own how pitiful this is. If I am out of the office, then I need to log in and clear out any urgent items in the in-basket for my organization’s electronic medical record (EMR). Then I won’t use a portion of my brain wondering if there are prescriptions that need to be filled or an urgent callback note to address.
#5) Comfy clothes. This is a controversial topic, as I’ve heard many an author insist that writing is a professional job and one should dress accordingly. They shun sweatpants and jammies. I cannot agree more with their perspective. However, it gets kind of mentally confusing when I have that >other< professional job for which I already have to dress professionally. Therefore, I need a different “costume” for writing, for the exact same reason why I change clothes completely when I come home from my Day Job. The act of changing attire changes our mindset and if done routinely can trigger association with other activities, like writing or exercising.
Do you have a ritual that prepares you to write? Share it here. You never know – other authors might incorporate your techniques and boost productivity!
Author, daydreamer, and practitioner of trying very hard to duct tape folks together and help when I can.