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How To Establish A Ritual Of Writing

Smiling writer

by Jennifer on July 20, 2011

This is a guest post by Maria Rainier of First In Education. If you would like to guest post for this blog, check out our guest post guidelines, then send your idea to: jennifer@procrastinatingwriters.com.

When it comes to writing professionally, the need has never been so great for you to establish some sort of ritual or routine before, during and after you start writing. Whether you currently work as a professional freelance writer, or you’re hoping to dabble your feet in the writing world, here are some tips on how you can establish a ritual while you write:

1. Work at a desk

Working on a couch or even on a bed is one of the biggest “no-no’s” a writer can make, not only because it can do a number on your upper body posture, but on your writing as well.

By sitting upright at a desk and sitting at a chair, it forces you to focus on in and what you’re trying to write about and believe it or not it can actually help with the editing process as well.

2. Write in silence

Regardless of what some people may say about how they can work listening to music or talking to other people at the same time, if you truly want to take your writing seriously you should be sitting in a silent room away from the various distractions in your home.

Any sort of noise or interaction could distract you away from one important thought that could make or break your article or story, so keep this in mind the next time you start to write.

3. Start writing right away

This of course depends on whether you are a morning person or an evening person, but sometimes it’s best to start a story or article first thing in the morning after you’ve had your first cup of coffee or tea, and then take a small break and then start chipping away at the story throughout the rest of the day, evening or even into the night if you have to.

4. Wear comfortable clothes

Yes, believe it or not what you’re wearing could ultimately determine your performance as a writer, because if you’re sitting uncomfortable it forces you to rush your writing so you can finish quicker. The same goes for getting chores done or taking a shower before you start writing, otherwise you’re just going to be thinking about what you have to do after you finish writing instead of the work at hand.

5. Try not to take a day off

Of course this could be impossible if you work more than 40 hours a week or if you’re a parent, but believe it or not taking a day or two off from writing could actually impact how you write (and think).

Sometimes it could take a few hours or even days to get back into the “writing mode,” so sometimes it’s best to keep a ritual of writing every day, even if it’s for a few minutes, in order to improve the final product of your story or article. If you truly want to be taken seriously as a professional writer remember: “There ain’t no rest for the writer.”

How do you establish a ritual to help get your writing done?

About the Author: Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blogger for First in Education where she’s recently written about theology degree programs along with a guide to online economics programs. In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, traveling  and working with origami.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Vishal Pipraiya July 20, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Excellent tips. Thank you!

2 Vincent July 21, 2011 at 5:21 am

Work at desk: I agree to it only while studying… As far as my writing is concerned whenever I get the idea, I feel to write, I simply pen down in my diary (this is while lying on the bed, in fact mostly!).

I’m so thankful to each and every writing post that I read because every bit of posts keeps on telling me one same thing, “write in silence” and I’m fan of this phrase 🙂

Wearing comfortable clothes is something new to me, would certainly consider it next time I do a write up.

I usually run away from schedules 😀

3 Emerald Barnes July 21, 2011 at 11:30 am

Great helpful tips! I find it easier to write while I’m sitting in a recliner or couch though. Also, the last tip is definitely true! I have a writing goal of 100 words a day. I usually write more, but if I don’t have the time (or think I don’t) I can still manage the small amount of a 100 words and not miss a day of writing. Setting goals is very helpful in getting into a routine of writing.

Enjoyed the post!

4 Lauren @ Pure Text July 24, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Under the heading “Wear comfortable clothes” there are a few grammatical issues. For one, the first sentence should read, “…if you’re sitting uncomfortably…” not “uncomfortable.” And it should end with “more quickly” rather than “quicker.”

And the following sentence should start more like this: “Chores and showering should be done before you start writing…”

This is a bit off topic, but as the errors I presented above show, freelance writers ought to team up with editors on their projects, or at least, direct their clients to a few trustworthy editorial services. Writing and editing go hand in hand!

Anyway, the last thing I meant to do with this comment is offend, but as an editor, I couldn’t help it! 😉

5 Anna Falcone July 26, 2011 at 5:45 pm

This is a great post. Too many times, we worry about the writing and neglect everything that goes with it. If it’s a hassle to write because of clutter, etc, we are less likely to do it.

It also reminds me that we should praise in public, make “constructive criticisms” in private. I hope I didn’t offend anyone. 😉

6 David Smith July 31, 2011 at 11:05 am

Interesting tips, Maria.
I do sit at a desk, but my legs are on the desk and the keyboard is in my lap. I find I write faster this way and it doesn’t remind me of sitting in a cubicle.
Silence is the default while I write, even when I load up a playlist. The music ends and I don’t notice.
I start every day with journaling, even when I schedule myself a day off. I used to have a goal of 1000 words a day, but found that tracking my word count could itself be a distraction. It’s easier to work on tracking spreadsheets than to write. Years of practice have made it a given that I will write more than 1000 words every day.
Thanks for the post.

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