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  • Writer's pictureShawndra Holmberg, CPO-CD

Save Time, Develop a Writing Ritual

Build habits to support your writing so you show up for your writing session ready to write. Developing a writing ritual creates a shortcut for our mind and body. We’re not dogs salivating at the sound of a bell, but we certainly can be writers typing away immediately at the sight, sound, smell, taste or touch of our writing ritual.

Create a Writing Ritual

Doing the same things over and over again before you sit down to write can cue your body and mind to prepare to write. You’re getting your subconscious aligned with your intention. It’s just like athletes who warm up the same way every time, or musicians who play the same small piece before tackling their main piece.

What can you add to the start of your writing routine to cue you in and become your ritual?

  • Consider building a music track for your writing, or at least identify what music or noise (if any) helps you focus your creativity.

  • Is there a visual cue you can set up to indicate that you’re writing?

  • Do you light a candle? Do you like incense or essential oils? Is there an aroma that might get you in the writing mood?

    • Peppermint has been shown to enhance memory.

    • Rosemary can help with cognitive tasks.

    • Would you prefer citrus to energize or lavender to calm?

  • Would your favorite beverage be a good addition to your writing ritual?

  • Is there a favorite shirt or pants you like to write in? This can be your tactile cue. Or maybe an object you touch to ground yourself and open up to your words each time.

  • What about a breathing or stretching exercise to get warmed up?

What helps me get in the write mindset

My morning writing routine primarily revolves around my first cup of coffee. I’ve tried writing while the pot is brewing, but I can’t settle down. However, with that first sip of coffee, my fingers seem capable of typing the words that come.

Coffee is not as important when I’m writing in the afternoon, but I definitely need music and a quiet space then. I like film score or soundtrack music in the background. My favorite go-to album is The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Original Game Soundtrack) available on YouTube and most any music app.

I also participate in a co-writing group. The set time and accountability give me an incentive to have a focus when I sit down to write.

We’re all different, do you!

You may prefer writing in the evening. Maybe you favor writing long hand rather than typing. Tea or sparkling water with lemon may be your beverage of choice while writing. Perhaps settling into your comfy chair next to a window, looking out and taking a deep breath makes things click for you. Try different things until you find the right combination that sets you up to show up to write. Look back at your notes from Day 3 (SPACE) of The Organized Pen—what did you need for your writing space? Don’t forget, when you go mobile you also need a similar ritual to help get into your writing more quickly.

When you build a habit or develop a ritual around your writing, you can get to your computer, tablet or paper in the write mindset. You’ll settle in to write more quickly and get into the flow more easily.

So... what’s your writing ritual?


Every story I create, creates me. I write to create myself. ~ Octavia E. Butler

 TL;DR |  A writing ritual can cue your body and mind to prepare to write.  Use your senses to build the ritual.
TL;DR (To Long; Didn't Read) | Recap


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