The hardest part of writing for me is the start. There are so many beginnings in the process of creating—beginning to move toward my desk and journal, beginning to open my pencil case to find exactly the right pen to use, beginning to set my writing space up the way I like to, beginning to open my journal, beginning to put my pen to paper, beginning to find words and thoughts and ideas. Getting myself to my desk is the hardest part of the battle. I have the ritual, it’s my mind that’s in the way. I try to combat this difficulty of beginning by taking away many of them all together. I have a ritual of stripping away things I view as obstacles in my path toward putting my pen to paper. I plug my laptop into its charger. I stack my journals neatly on top of each other; I take out a single purple pen and line it up neatly with the edge of the journal. I fill my water bottle, place it within easy reach of my right hand. I turn my desk lamp to the exact angle that I like it, so that the light filters out from under its shade without bouncing light off of my computer screen. I push my chair into my desk. I turn the lights off. I go to sleep. When I wake up, hypothetically, I am ready to write.
But writing for myself in the morning is somehow exponentially easier than knowing what I write will be read by others. I am crippled by this fear of an audience’s judgement—even if I know it’s someone that loves and cares about me. I am curious how ritual could play a part in minimizing this fear, or how others deal with it.