Writing is something that can be difficult for me to just turn on and off like a switch. As a student I am inundated with requirements of drafts and rubrics and deadlines so sometimes I don’t have a choice. This, however, leads to vicious cycles of procrastination, so much so that I now prefer to work under a very tight deadline. The pressure fuels me. But to arbitrarily sit myself down at 4pm on a Tuesday to write a paper that’s due in a week, is to write uninspired. If you want to see what inspired writing looks like, you should see the notepad app on my phone. It’s a sacred space full of essay fragments, rants, lyrics, concepts, lists, quotes, recipes. In moments where I have an idea or I feel inspired it’s as if that switch just goes on for me and I NEED to put my thoughts into words. Luckily my phone never leaves my side.
I don’t have a ritual for writing. The most consistent thing about my writing is that it’s usually done last minute if I’m up against a deadline but this is more of a way of life than a ritual. Or, it’s a ritual I need to stop. I guess when I write in the notepad app on my phone the big difference is that I know that I’m only writing for my eyes. There’s no chance anyone is ever going to see what I write in there in its raw form. But when I’m writing for real, as soon the pen metaphorically hits the paper (I never handwrite, hence metaphorically) in my mind it’s as if its already in its final form. A ritual that I could establish for this semester could be to start any writing process with a free-write. Maybe I will feel more inspired if I can get over the mental hurdle of feeling like it has to be close to perfect and instead write down literally anything that comes to mind. I can treat each new doc that I create as a new note on my phone.