Before beginning Tharpe’s book The Creative Habit, I had never really thought about any of the rituals that I have for writing. I have my own general rituals for productivity. There’s the bullet journal that I strive to maintain. Before I go to bed, I also put my keys in a bowl by my front door so I don’t forget them the next morning. This also encourages me to think about anything else I may have forgotten to do that day.
However, I have recognized how hard it can be to just start writing. This became especially clear to me last semester which was the first time I had so many writing assignments due in short periods of time. I would linger over readings and ruminate, not getting anywhere with producing for a while. Over time, I’ve found that it helps to sit down and write down whatever comes to mind about the topic in question. It doesn’t matter whether all of the words show up in the final draft. At least I have my thoughts down which can cause new ones to arise.
It can get very disorganized. After I’ve doing this, it let the document sit for a while. Eventually, I come back to it and try to make sense of it all, usually color-coding similar ideas and eliminating ones that I like.
This can be hard to do, as I consider myself a very calculated person and not the kind that can usually think before they speak. Becuase of this, I often am surprised by how much material I can develop from this exercise alone.