writers / writing

#IWSG May–Rituals to Prepare for Writing

This post is for Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group (click the link for details on what that means and how to join. You will also find a list of bloggers signed up to the challenge that are worth checking out. The first Wednesday of every month, we all post our thoughts, fears or words of encouragement for fellow writers.

This month’s question — Do you have any rituals that help you get into the ZONE? 

OK, I’ll stipulate I’m a little weird, just putting that out there in case you face palm at my answer. Me, I don’t have any problem getting ‘into the zone’. I am rarely overwhelmed by the mystery of writing. I’m not even whelmed. I sit down. I run through my email. I write.

If I get stuck, I research. That usually gives me endless fodder for plot lines and character development that I add in as needed.

I’m intrigued to read what others do to motivate themselves.

#iwsg #amwriting


More on #IWSG

How are Things in a COVID-19 World?

Celebrations in My Writing

Do Writers Read?

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Against All Odds, Summer 2020. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning

117 thoughts on “#IWSG May–Rituals to Prepare for Writing

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  5. A solid plan 🙂 Though, I need as few distractions as possible to write (so no email, no looking out windows, no shiny objects…).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ha, ha Jacqui. You’re right. But your rituals are there, maybe not to get you writing specifically, but to ensure you are in the right frame of mind with yourself and other responsibilities. I agree with you that once at the writing table, creativity flows freely …. on the condition that we are not bothered by people speaking to you and soliciting your attention. Have an inspired month of May. Take care, stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t have a problem writing either. But, I sometimes have a problem procrastinating. Postponing actually sitting down at my computer to start a new project or continue an existing one. Yet, once I sit down, words flow and time disappears. As long as there are not too many distractions. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I need to be careful when I research for a story to be sure I’m only researching for the story. I can get swept up into learning new things. For me, one thing leads to another in research. Then I check vocabulary and definitions and experts… It can go on too long and I lose sight of my initial story. All best to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know exactly what you mean. Yikes–right? I am researching when man first suffered headaches right now. Who knew I could find an answer for that? I have 10 taps open in my browser!


  9. Despite all the challenges that this pandemic brings, I’m finding myself diving more deeply into writing, as if it were the safe place that outside no longer is. So I liked your direct and let’s-just-write approach. That balance between research and writing is one that helps me every single day as I start work on my new project. Today, images of the White Nile Heron. Tomorrow, the pyramids! May you have a very good month.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. My rituals for getting in “the zone” are:
    I must have either coffee or bottles water within reach.
    I must have my dictionary app open ready to use. (I need it for synonyms as well as for spelling.)
    Husband cannot be in the room.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I don’t wait for motivation. Because I’ll rarely “feel” motivated. It has to be a choice. I wake up early and work on my craft before kids wake up or people show up in the office. I don’t want to wait for the next great moment of inspiration. I choose to write. Even if my writing ends up being trash, it gets me moving in the right direction. After all, every first draft is bad. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m similar to you, Jacqui. I don’t have any rituals other than coffee! And I’ve never really been blocked. As an outliner, I know what I need to do and it’s more about discipline than anything else. I also rely on the knowledge that editing is part of the process, so writing crap doesn’t slow me down either. Lol. Happy Writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi, Jacqui! I’m not surprised to hear that you don’t need a ritual. You’re so productive. I’m in awe of all you do. I’ve been having trouble posting comments on WordPress today. This is my second attempt on yours. All the best to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. How did I miss that you were a columnist for NEA Today? Which of course I get. Given how productive you are, I figured you’re often in the zone. Wishing you lots of success staying there, Jacqui!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, their magazine only comes out quarterly so it doesn’t keep me too busy! I like those folks there. They always do a good job making my articles appear professional (with charts and graphics and stuff).


  15. I don’t have a ritual per se. I like to have a glass of ice water or juice beside my computer and the phone so I don’t have to keep getting up to answer it. I try to think about the scene I want to write before I sit down. That way I’m ready to type as soon as my butt hits the chair.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I was never a water drinker for most of my life. A few mouthfuls from a water fountain and that was all I needed. I always had a glass of sweet tea or a Pepsi in my hand. Oddly, after I became sick with the myasthenia gravis I craved ice water and no longer wanted sodas. It’s been 10 years now and, while I enjoy a variety of beverages, water is still my primary beverage. My husband recently started making ginger tea for us. That’s a nice treat.

        Liked by 1 person

          • It is for the most part. Since it is progressive I am now using a cane. Next step will be a walker or wheelchair. For your eye problem you might want to try some magnesium. It helped my eyes. I wished I’d known about magnesium fifteen years ago and maybe I would not be in the shape I am. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

            Liked by 1 person

  16. I have no trouble writing as long as I’m not interrupted. This is as true for my fiction as it was my legal briefs or food and wine pieces. Just leave me along and I can churn out a first or second draft in record time. Well, not so much with the fiction. That’s more of a chapter by chapter situation. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I can sit down and write almost anytime, but sometimes the words that come out of me are pretty worthless unless I’m in the zone. Reading someone else’s story often helps me get into the mood, unless the writing is so good it reminds me how poor a writer I am at times.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I write when my creative cup is full. When my cup is empty, I go do other things. Blessing my writing keeps my creativity flowing. Surrender to the creative being that’s connected to all things.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I am also like this, Jacqui. I can usually write when the opportunity presents itself. Today I got a severe case of anxiety. The economic situation in South Africa is really bad and I find dealing with covid-19 fallout stuff all day long very stressful. Instead of writing for an hour I went outside and weeded. It did me the world of good to be in the garden working with my hands.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Research is always inspiring! I do have to watch myself, however, because I find so many rabbit holes when I really get into research mode that I could wind up at the North Pole when I really was headed south. Glad to hear you’re doing well and writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Hey guys!
    I saw this post and i felt like y’all could help me, I’ve recently joined wordpress and my first post is up, would love it if y’all could read it and let me know what you think of it!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I have no ritual as per see, except trying to listen when I am told.
    Get hold of iPad or notebook and write down what was given.
    Then …. take a break, leave and let it settle within.

    A book would take much more planning and work, I readily admit.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh no. Red Bull is my friend. It’s sad when I have to down the first one around 10 am! I think it’s my RA meds but there’s not much I can do about that. I know you understand how that goes. Sigh. How long does a contract project take you?


  23. Thanks for your post 🙂 I like to write most in the morning, but I need 1 cup of tea to wake my brain up, another to clear my head, followed by endless cups of coffee + chocolate to keep me going. Not healthy but it works for me!

    Liked by 2 people

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