Friday, November 15, 2013

Know your ritual by Michelle Styles

Lately I've been re-reading old writing craft books and I happened on  Twyla Tharp's The Creative Habit.  it is more about maintaining and creating creativity than about writing. In the past it has proven very useful.
Tharp mentioned the necessity of thinking about your skill set as a clock face which constantly needs polishing. So it has proved with my writing.  Sometimes I have been stuck and have found if I go back and revise simple things like characters, plots or even work habits, things fall into plce
But the other day the thing which struck  me was her bit about rituals. In order to do certain retetitve tasks, people will often have rituals before they do them.
For example, the act of changing into my workout clothes in the morning when I get up means that I will work out. If I get dressed in my day clothes, I'll skip the work out.
With writing, I will ignore the internet and write if I turn the radio on to a Classical station. If I am revising, I can use a playlist because I can then have theme music but for the first draft, it has to be the radio. No radio, then I am afraid I check the internet too often.
Tharp argues that it is the knowing of the ritual and performing that ritual that can get you over a hurdle.
 So the next time, you are feeling stuck or like you don't wnat to do something, think about your ritual. See if you have suddenly stopped doing something that will put you in the mood. Once I thought about needing the radio, everything fell into place.

Advanced Notice:

Starting 28 November The Harlequin Historical Authors will once again be doing their annual Advent calendar. The top prize will be a top-rated kindle plus there will be daily prizes.. My day is 12 December and my daily prize will include a copy of my latest plus tea, biscuits and a mug.

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