Writing Rituals: Routines and Strange Habits of Writers and Authors


When it comes to sitting down and putting your pen to paper, or fingers to the keyboard, some writers have specific needs.

A lot of well known authors have certain habits, rituals, or things they must set in place before they can begin to write. Susan Sontag wrote with a felt tip pen, Jack Kerouac would write by candlelight and Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. There are some who write drunk, some who write stoned and some who write naked. (This might have a little something to do with our reputation for weirdness, ya think?)

writers are strange

Some write to music and others must have complete silence. Some prefer longhand while others will only work on an old typewriter. And the list goes on…

For me, although I wouldn’t call them ‘rituals’, or even ‘strange’, there are two things that help in my writing process. A drive through the country, taking in the scenery and/or Googling photography, preferably black and white. If I am ever in a slump, these two things are like a four-wheel drive, they jerk me out of the mud and get me back on the road again.

Do you have a specific ‘routine’ or ‘ritual’ for writing? 

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31 thoughts on “Writing Rituals: Routines and Strange Habits of Writers and Authors

  1. I have a hard time getting started. If I create a routine and stick with it — say, 7:00 every morning, I will write for 30 minutes — it helps. Now, if only my good intentions actually amounted to consistent and productive writing time. I find any and every distraction available. Getting out of the house helps.

    • Ya know what they say about good intentions lol. Trust me, I’m a pro on that account. I always mean well, but never works out as planned. And I agree, getting out of the house, especially taking a drive is great for inspiration. ♥ Best of luck on your journey! xox

  2. I have posted about it a lot. I like to write while there is one of my favorite sci-fi shows on in the background like Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis or FarScape. Something about having it on in the background just lets me get into the flow of what I’m writing. And it distracts my brain from over-thinking and over editing as I write.

  3. I don’t think I have any rituals or habits but I have sometimes played very loud rock/punk (Brokencyde/Avenged Sevenfold/Pendulum, screamy swearing stuff like that) or whatever it’s called just to clear my head I think. I have written some romantic and spiritual poetry with this music blasting away… then again I think silence is the key to forming the silence between the words, perhaps.

  4. Pingback: Get Into Your Writing Flow with a Personal Ritual, or Not | One Way to Wonder

  5. I’ve created a channel on Pandora that I call “New Age Instrumental.” With earplugs in place, my thoughts become very internal (if that makes sense). I’m able to become the characters that I write about.
    And I’ve learned to write in whatever amount of time I can find. Sometimes it’s an hour, sometimes it’s five minutes.

  6. I usually prefer to write lying down on my bed propped up on one elbow, writing with either a felt-tip pen or an ink pen … when these three conditions are satisfied, that’s when I write my best! :P

    • I write on my laptop in the comfort of my bed. My bedroom is yellow and the color seems to be inspiring. :) Also, a good pen makes all the difference when I do write the old fashioned way :) I have an insane addiction to pens lol

  7. If at all possible, there must be music. Doesn’t matter what–jazz, classical, blues, Eastern–but no vocals. Lyrics distract. Coffee is also helpful. And sandalwood incense.

    Any one of these is good. Give me all three & I’m at the keyboard all day long.

    Best timeframes (assuming no workday): 4 AM thru Noon &/or 10 PM thru 2AM

    • Listening to certain music (country) has inspired me to write many times, but I could never write while it’s playing. I have to have silence. And a stroll through some of my favorite blogs in between helps me as well.
      Thanks for coming by. :).

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