My Writing Ritual: Brought to you by Spotify and Mighty Good

They say the first step to solving any problem is recognizing one exists. So, here we go. For me, that dilemma is my lack of any sort of formal, organized writing ritual. Don’t get me wrong, I, like many other writers, have a couple personal steps I like to take prior to beginning to write. Still, I’m not sure if those necessarily constitute a ritual in and of themselves, so I’m going to outline a ritual I hope to implement.

As this semester picks-up, I aim to follow a particular warm-up ritual, if you will: I’ll find a relatively quiet, cozy space, grab a steaming cup of coffee or hot chocolate, and throw on one of my Spotify playlists as I sip my beverage. The ritual is not the act of finding an appropriate location for writing nor clicking the olive “Play” button on Spotify, but, rather, the practice of finishing my beverage. In doing so, I “settle” my mind, gather a few preliminary thoughts, and prepare my brain for the perpetual push-and-pull of writing and thinking about writing.

For me, the ritual concludes once I finish my hot chocolate and my all-too brief Spotify playlist fades into the background. In that moment, I feel as if I have completed my “mental reset” and gathered sufficient thoughts to initiate my writing process. The pace at which I drink my steaming Mighty Good latte or hot chocolate is directly connected to my pre-writing thinking—if I sense that ideas are rapidly crystallizing in my brain, I find myself finishing earlier.

As a writer who often grapples with how to begin writing, this ritual will, hopefully, serve as a method for helping me to overcome “writer’s block” or a similar inability to actually start writing. I also appreciate the fact that this ritual is straightforward and doesn’t necessitate significant investment on my part since I think that having a lengthy or exhaustive ritual could discourage me from starting to write, in a way.

Ultimately, I think I’m drawn to this ritual because it builds off of one of my typical pre-writing steps: downing a coffee or hot chocolate. I’ve found it can be difficult, at times, for me to relax my brain and let my writing occur naturally, so distracting myself with a beverage is a sort-of “lifehack” I’ve come to rely upon.

At the end of the day, I’m just excited to try it.

2 thoughts to “My Writing Ritual: Brought to you by Spotify and Mighty Good”

  1. Hey Connor, first off, great post! I, too, don’t have a solid pre-writing ritual, so I know exactly how it can be difficult to sort of clear your mind and organize your thoughts before you begin to write.

    I think your idea is great, as a lot of other people had said similar rituals work out for them too! I think, and you may already think so, it would be a good idea to sort of zone out during this time. You know, just think about the steam from your drink and the warmth spreading, do a little people watching and just turn your brain off for a while. A mental break before writing may do you some good, who knows?

    But anyways, thank you for sharing and I wish you the best of luck with your new ritual!

  2. Hey Connor! Similar to you, my writing rituals aren’t as structured. Yes, I light the same candle every time I sit down to write in my room, but I also light that candle whenever I’m watching Netflix, cleaning my room, or just chatting with my friends. What I like about your idea, however, is this simplicity, this mental reset that gets you in the right head space to write. Perhaps there is something else that happens in these moments that help your writing, as well? Do you zone out when this happens? Or, do you start thinking of ideas? What is it about that moment when you know you’re ready to write.. is it that your finally settled in your own thoughts or you think of an idea and immediately need to get it on paper?

    I too often struggle with getting started, but I think diving into this ritual, thinking about those questions, and seeing how it affects your writing will be a great way to start your Capstone project. Thanks for sharing and good luck 🙂

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