The Importance of Ritual for Productive Writing

In the age of electronics, computers, social media, technology – life has become a great balancing act. We try to balance our work, our families, our social life, and our hobbies. Often, little time is left for our passion. Sometimes, we have to schedule time for ourselves and our art. In fact, it has become necessary to do so in order to complete or fulfill our passion.

I have had trouble recently with scheduling time for myself due to some family issues. In my life and in my world—as I am sure it is with you—family comes first. But, we also need to make time for ourselves and our passions, or we are not complete, and we are not able to be there as effectively for our other responsibilities.

The best way I have found to make time for my writing is to create rituals around it. I don’t stick to a strict schedule, but I find that using ritual helps me to make time every day for my writing. First thing in the morning, I think about what I am grateful for—it gets me into a pleasant frame of mind and helps me to tackle any of the tasks I don’t like doing. I often do a little meditating and then set an intention for the day. I also read the affirmations that I have created for myself to myself out loud. It’s best to read them to yourself in the mirror, but that isn’t always possible. Then I go on to do the “life” things I need to accomplish.

When it is time for me to sit and write, I get out my essential oils. I’ve been using essential oils for about two years now to settle, inspire, comfort, and focus me. I take a whiff of a couple and try to be open to which one is speaking to me – not literally of course—but which one fills me with good feelings and inspiration. Some of my favorite include Envision, Highest Potential, Joy, and Oola Balance from Young Living Oils. They are all high frequency, emotional oils and they just make me feel good. Grapefruit, Lemon, Peppermint, and Cypress are the single oils I like to use for creativity. Once I’ve picked the “oil of the day” I put some drops in my diffuser, put on some ambient music and sit down to write.

Other rituals I have used  to get the creative juices flowing are:

Freeform journal writing. I’ll write down whatever comes into my head no matter how crazy or disorganized—I just spew.

Write down 10 things I am grateful for. This puts me in a great frame of mind and makes me feel like I can conquer anything.

Read inspirational quotes from other writers.

Brainstorm with a writing friend.

Make a date to write with a friend.

Always write in the same space. I like to write in my office, but for you, it might be your dining room table, Starbucks, or your favorite tea house.

I’ve heard somewhere that to develop a habit, you must do the thing 12 times. Consistency is key. Once you have developed the ritual, you will find that your day is not complete without it–it will magically have worked its way into your daily life, and you will feel odd if you don’t complete the ritual.

Give it a try. Set a ritual around your writing. I hope you find it as comforting, inspiring and enlivening as I have.

 

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