Writing Rituals: How to Create a Physical and Mental Space that Promotes Writing

Sitting down to write is one of those things that are planned with great intention but can be difficult to execute, especially when you’ve had a busy day and your mind is full of to-dos and can’t-forgets. Here are some ways that you can clear your mind, set yourself up for a solid writing stint, and get that word count climbing! 

Set Up Your Physical Space with the Five Senses

Sight 

Set yourself up in a visually inspiring space! Sit by plants or near a window. Post character art, plot arcs, and world maps on your wall. Keep a prompt list nearby. 

Taste

Have snacks within reach! Nothing interrupts writing like hunger. Have some fruit or trail mix nearby to munch on, or a bit of candy to give your brain the essential sugars it needs to write the next Canadian bestseller.

Smell 

Smell has the ability to transport us to a memory or another place. Keep candles, incense, coffee, or whatever speaks to you nearby to keep your brain in the creative space you need to be in.

Touch 

 If your body is cozy and content, you can focus your energy on writing. Make sure you’re comfortable, but not so much that you’ll fall asleep. Consider setting up in a bathtub with a tub table, getting cozy in bed with pillows propping you up, or wrapping up in a favorite blanket at your desk.

Sound

Many writers say that using music to set the tone for the scene or piece they’re working on is imperative for staying focused. There are many resources out there for atmospheric music–our next blog post will feature music resources for writing, so stay tuned! 

Set Up Your Mental Space

  • Scheduling writing time is a great way to carve out mental space to just focus on writing. Plan your day and make sure that you’ve finished whatever else you need to do–get the dishes done, finish that one assignment, then stick to your scheduled writing time. When it’s part of a schedule, it can help take away that feeling of needing to do other things instead.
  • If you’re a computer writer, make sure that your visual space is only focused on writing; have a dedicated browser window for research and such open alongside your document, and turn all other notifications off. It can be difficult to write on the same device that you work/do homework on, so making it visually different can trick your brain into changing gears. If you happen to have more than one computer (gamers, unite!), then try writing there instead. 
  • Consider writing with paper and pen. This method can help prevent eternal editing and keep the story moving forward. This can also be a great way to build a deeper connection with your work. 
  • Try meditating! Meditation is not only great for your mental health but can also be a great way to let go of the stress of the day and bring your focus into your writing project. Here is a quick meditation video for reference! 
  • If meditation isn’t for you, try doing some stream-of-consciousness journaling. Put all those to-do’s and worries onto the page and then set it aside. Turn off your notifications. Then, let your creativity flow, and then you can come back to those worries once you’re done if they’re still important. 

Comment below with your strategies for getting in the writing mindset and setting up a creative space for yourself!

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