Set the Scene to Write

a flowered tea cup with tea in it, a golden spoon, and an impression of a fancy or high tea
Ironically, I searched Pixabay for “ritual” and got this. You’ll see the significance at point 1.

Do you do that? Set the scene to write by prepping your writing area in a particular way? I do.

It’s little things. I don’t set up a whole stage or something to suit what I’m writing that day. Maybe I would if I were rich and didn’t have a normal job – I can see how that would make for profitable social media posting and whatnot. But I’m not rich, so I don’t.

No, I just have a few little habits that I almost always do before I start writing.

My Pre-Writing Ritual

1. Make a Cup of Tea

I love tea. There’s something inherently comforting about a hot cup of tea, especially in the morning. Which is when I write.

So before I write, I pick today’s mug and make myself a nice pot of tea to drink during the writing session. I guess some of my European genes run true (I told you the featured image would make more sense at point 1).

2. Set Up My Plotting

I mentioned earlier that I use a post-it board for my plotting. I like to be able to see that when I’m writing, but it’s a bit too big to leave out all the time (Maybe, when I’m rich and have more rooms for my elaborate sets, it will always be out… Sorry. I like that daydream.).

Anyway, I get that out and set it up where I can check it easily as needed. That way, if I need to remind myself what scene comes next or if there are notes for me about information I need to tie in with later scenes, it’s right there in front of me.

3. Turn on Some Background Noise

I’ve probably told you more about my listening preferences than you actually want to know, but it is part of my ritual. Picking the music or show to play in the background reflects my mood and sets some of the energy level for the session.

Plus, like the tea, it’s kind of a comfort thing. A stress relief (which I hadn’t really thought of until now – apparently, I try to reduce my stress before I write. Interesting…).

4. Read a Few Paragraphs Back

Finally, as I get ready to write, I like to read a little bit of what came ahead. That gives me a feel for the flow and the mood, and I can kind of match that or use it as a springboard as I continue on.

Small warning, though, don’t start reading too far back. That’s how you end up editing and re-writing instead of writing new paragraphs. I found that out the hard way. And as long as you’ve been writing regularly, the main points of the plot should be pretty fresh. You don’t need to go more than a few paragraphs or a page back to get started.

What Is Your Pre-writing Ritual?

Is your pre-writing ritual like mine? How do you get ready to write?


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