One of the most effective ways to turn your “Writing Brain” on is to create a ritual. Much like a sleep ritual that triggers your body it’s time to go to sleep, a writing ritual triggers your brain that it’s time to write. It sets the mood internally.
Writing rituals are performed by many of us without even knowing it. You may drink a cup of coffee, walk your dog and then sit down to write. This pattern of behavior can become the trigger for you. Skip your morning coffee or walk and suddenly you’re wondering why the words aren’t coming.
Here are seven writing rituals to consider when creating your romance writing routine – remember, they’re designed to support YOU to succeed!
#1 A Cup of Joe
If you write first thing in the morning, sipping your first cup of coffee as you brainstorm the next scene in your romance novel can be quite effective. If you write in the afternoon or evening consider a latte, cappuccino or other tasty coffee drink. I have a handy little espresso maker and like to treat myself to a 1:00 cappuccino each day. It’s a small luxury that helps me stay focused on the afternoon when my energy tends to wane.
If you’re sensitive to caffeine consider drinking decaf, tea or even an afternoon smoothie.
#2 Blood Flow
There’s something about getting outside into the sunshine and fresh air that stimulates imagination. Embrace the out of doors and take a walk before you sit down to write. (This also works quite well as a writing break if you’ve been writing for longer than an hour.) A good ten to fifteen minute walk gets the blood flowing to your brain. If you noodle or brainstorm your latest WIP you can actually solve a lot of your writing problems during this time.
#3 Alcohol and Chocolate
Have trouble getting in the mood to write your sex scenes? Try a little culinary decadence. Somehow the combination of cheap champagne and peanut M&Ms helps get the creative juices flowing. Maybe it’s the alcohol and chocoloate delivered in a somewhat trashy manner, sultry and naughty at the same time, that makes it work.
I have to be honest, I didn’t come up with this one. I read it somewhere and unfortunately don’t remember where. What I can say is it’s been known to work for me. Though I’m more likely to eat a Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup and drink a Margarita – weird, I know.
If you’re more of a quiet starter consider meditating for ten or more minutes before you write. It helps clear your mind and find focus. Additionally, meditation offers a number of health benefits.
#5 A Quick Refresher
Many people find that sitting down to read the previous day’s work helps them get in the mood to write more. The key to this being a successful strategy is to make sure you don’t spend your entire time editing and actually get some new material on the page.
Exercise gets your blood pumping and when used as a writing ritual it helps you stay fit and healthy. It helps prevent what I like to call, and can relate to, big fat writer’s butt. I CrossFit but admittedly it takes me some time to wind down and be able to focus. Yoga, Pilates, or a nice jog may be a better option here.
#7 Writing Exercises and Story Starters
Okay, if physical exercise isn’t your thing, consider doing a quick writing exercise to get your writing brain in gear. We have many writing exercises here at Make a Living Writing Romance and there are some wonderful books.
Writing rituals help improve your writing practice. Try one of these seven (I’ve tried them all!) or create one that fits your personality, schedule and needs.
Of course repeating an affirmation can help you get in the right mindset for the day. If you’re ready to kick your creative fears to the curb and banish doubt, writer’s block, and confidence issues then check out 365 Affirmations for Romance Writers . It’s created specifically to help you overcome any mindset challenge you’re facing so you can sit down at the blank page with clarity and confidence.