Before I start, just a reminder that tomorrow is the last day to enter to win a copy of Love Sucks. Minimum entry is a simple comment, telling me your favorite Halloween read, but you can get extra entries by tweeting and posting on Facebook and the blog.
Back to NaNo. Not everyone feels the need to have a ritual for writing, but a lot of people find it very helpful to get into the right mood or to motivate them. It might be psychosomatic, but having something that keeps you in the right mindset can be very beneficial when it’s NaNo time.
A ritual might be a place where you have to write. This can be great if you’re there because it’s a total experience: atmosphere, sounds, lighting, activity around you, amenities if needed. But it can also be bad if it means that you have difficulty writing away from that location, and depending on what your month looks like, that might make hitting 50K difficult. If you’re used to writing at your favorite cafe, and then you can’t get there a lot in November, it may hurt your motivation. But if you can get there, prepare for an awesome day of writing, right?
Some people don’t need a place, but like certain stimuli around them. I prefer having my headphones on. They don’t need to have music streaming through them, to be honest, but as noise-reducing headphones they can separate me enough from the real world to concentrate on the world that I’m writing about. However, I do like to play the Doctor Who soundtrack while I write. For me, this is the perfect writing music. I also get a lot of mileage out of any album that I know so well that I could potentially sing along to it without thinking about the words and notes, because those are the albums I can enjoy without focusing on it, thus freeing me to focus on the words I’m writing. Other people cannot listen to music at all.
Some people like to have something to drink or to snack on while they write. This can also serve as a good reward system. When I wrote DownLoad in 2007, I had a box of 50 suckers. I got one a day while I wrote, and because it was long lasting, it was satisfying. When Borders was open, I would wait until I wrote 1K, then I could get a javanilla milkshake and continue writing while I drank it. I have a friend who, after much searching, has found that if she has a certain candy when she’s ready to sit down and write, it will put her in the writing mindset.
Do you find that a certain ritual helps get you in the mindset for writing? Are you trying anything new this NaNo to get into the mood?
Lots of love,