Writing Rituals

Another fun blog tag today, this one courtesy of Claerie Kavanaugh. (Click the link to read her post!)

Let’s talk about my utterly fascinating writing rituals. They will knock your socks off. Even if you’re not wearing socks.

When do you write? (time of day, day of week)

I snatch every bit of free time to write, regardless of when in the course of the day or week it comes. Usually that ends up being in the mid-afternoon or evening. I carry my iPad and a bluetooth keyboard around with me so I can sit down and wrangle those plot bunnies at a moment’s notice. I try never to let a day go by without some kind of writing. Otherwise the fires of creation start cooling in my brain.

How do you seclude yourself from the outside world?

Bwa-HA-HA-HA-ha-ha-ha-ha-HA-HAAA-HA-HA-HA-ha-ha-ha-haaa….hoo…GAAAH-HAAAA-HA-HA-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-haaaaa-ha-ha-HA-ha-ha-ha-ha…*wipes away tear of laughter* *ahem* I’m fine. I’m good now. Hee-hee-hee…

Yeah, this generally doesn’t happen.

How do you review what you wrote the previous day?

With a gun. No, seriously, what I try to do is read it as if I’m not the one who wrote it. This is when I unleash the ruthless evil spirit of self-criticism that I keep locked away in a very dark and rat-infested mental dungeon the rest of the time. BUT, I don’t always heed my inner editor’s advice, because if I did that I’d never get anything published. I try to weed out the genuine problems while staying true to the spirit of the text; the stuff that made me interested enough to get it written in the first place.

What song is your go-to when you’re feeling uninspired?

The main theme/suite from National Treasure is my favorite inspirational soundtrack. Though it has frequently caused me to try to steal the Declaration of Independence.

What do you always do (i.e. listen to music, read, watch youtube, etc.) when you find yourself struggling with writer’s block?

Actually, what I usually do when I have writer’s block is to keep writing. Something. Anything. If I stop writing when I feel a creative block coming on, I end up having a very, very hard time getting started again. But, if I’m feeling burned out and writing just isn’t fun anymore, I typically read good fiction or listen to writing podcasts (like Writing Excuses) to get myself back in the mood.

What tools do you use when you’re writing?

I have a love-hate relationship with Scrivener, but I do use it. Google Docs is pretty boring in terms of layout and features, but the cloud sync is very trustworthy (unlike Scrivener’s), so I rely on that one a lot. My favorite app for writing is Bear, a clean and simple text editor on iOS with a lot of great features and themes. Todoist helps me make sure I’m not forgetting any of my projects. Aside from software, I have a fidget cube that I grab and start fiddling with whenever I get the temptation to go on Twitter or Pinterest and waste time. It actually works.

The cake is a lie.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without during a writing session?

Coffee. I don’t drink it every time I write, but I do need to have some on board in order for my brain to function properly.

How do you fuel yourself during your writing session?

Again, coffee, but I also listen to a variety of movie and TV soundtracks to keep myself in the zone.

How do you know when you’re done writing?

When I’m dead. … Oh wait, this probably is supposed to be about individual stories. For me, the end of a story is about emotional fulfillment for my characters and for the reader, not just storytelling boxes being checked. So if the main plot is wrapped up but something still feels unresolved, I add more scenes to deal with that. But I don’t force my stories to be a particular length by padding them with needless stuff. The way I see it, if a story is finished, it’s finished. I’ll cope with whether it’s a novel or a novella or a novelette later on.

Time to select some awesome bloggers to keep this tag rolling:

E.B. Dawson

Nate Philbrick

R.G. Dole

Hannah Krynicki

Jessi L. Roberts

Claire Banschbach

K.L. Pierce

Hannah Heath

Deborah O’Carroll

As usual, I know I’m forgetting people, so consider yourself tagged if you’d like to join in! Here are the questions, for your convenience:

When do you write? (time of day, day of week)
How do you seclude yourself from the outside world?
How do you review what you wrote the previous day?
What song is your go-to when you’re feeling uninspired?
What do you always do (i.e. listen to music, read, watch youtube, etc.) when you find yourself struggling with writer’s block?
What tools do you use when you’re writing?
What’s the one thing you can’t live without during a writing session?
How do you fuel yourself during your writing session?
How do you know when you’re done writing?

If you have any other questions to add about my writing process, share them in the comments!

 

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Comments (10)

A hundred million yes-es to getting the real world to go away. This just does not happen, and for anyone who wants to be a writer and thinks it might, well, they’re in for a surprise. 😛

Absolutely!! 😆 There are so many people sitting around and waiting for things to “calm down” so they can get started on that project they’re procrastinating. They’d do better to just start now despite the distractions.

Love it! Thanks for the tag! I was needing some ideas for posts, so this works perfectly. 🙂

I enjoy the National Treasure Soundtrack. The movies are pretty great, too. They’re so ridiculous and I love them.

You’re very welcome! And yeah, I love those frequently-criticized Disney movies like “National Treasure” and “Pirates.” They might be completely goofy, but there’s a reason why they’re popular. 😂 There’s a guy on the Writing Excuses podcast who often refers to both franchises to teach lessons about writing.

The first 3 Pirates are hilariously epic. They’re going to feature in a “writing as explained by” post here pretty soon. 🙂
Prince of Persia is another legit favorite of mine. It has an epic storyline and adorably awesome characters. And the music is <3.

I’m really looking forward to that Pirates post! That will be awesome! And yeah, I’ve heard a lot of good things about PoP; I really need to see that one.

Thanks for the tag! Looks fun. XD I enjoyed seeing your answers and getting more insight into your writing process… *adds to ridiculously long list of tags-I-need-to-do* I need to catch up someday. XD

What does “the cake is a lie” mean? 😀

You’re welcome! Looking forward to seeing your answers! “The cake is a lie” is an extremely nerdy reference to the Portal videogames. 😄 I’m really not a “gamer” per se, but I do know about those because they’re more like (very cool) movies with interactive puzzles than games, in my opinion. Anyway, there’s a cube in there that forms a significant plot point, and “The cake is a lie” is something you find written on the wall. It’s a warning that the hilariously passive-aggressive artificial intelligence who is imprisoning you and promising you cake at the end of the puzzles is actually just manipulating you. 😆

[…] you guessed it, Kyle Robert Schultz is just on a rampage to prove how utterly lame I am. Why Kyle, […]

[…] time ago the awesome Kyle Robert Shultz tagged me in the Writing Rituals tag. And since I’ve been terrible uninspired of late, I […]

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