For one hundred days, I’m going to post a writing tip each day. I have a whole bookshelf full of writing books and I want to do some reading and increased studying of this valuable resource. This will help me keep track of anything I’ve learned, and help motivate me to keep going. If anyone has a favorite tip of their own to add, contact me. I’d love to put it up here.
Today’s tip – Creating A Ritual
The writer Isabel Allende has a very clear ritual.When she visited Studio 360 to talk about her novel Ines of My Soul, she said every year, on January 8, she sits down at her desk to write a new book.
Even if she hasn’t finished the book from the previous year, she puts all her research material aside and starts a new book on the morning of January 8. Even if she has no idea what she is going to write about she starts a new book on January 8.
Imagine the pressure on the evening of January 7.
This is a big, confusing, terrifying world… and we can only see a tiny, tiny sliver of it – both in place and in time. Writing is an attempt to make sense of it all – which is an absurd and insurmountable goal. The only way we can deal with the terrible mystery of that vast unknowable existence out there is with faith. And one key to maintaining faith in the face of terror is ritual. Even for the most devout faithless out there – without ritual it is impossible to even get out of bed in the morning.
If nothing else, ritual helps get the work done. And there is nothing more important than that.