The Writing Rituals Tag

Despite that it was originally created back in 2017 by authors Kim Chance and Mandi Lynn, I just recently stumbled over this nine question writing tag. I actually watched another author’s response to it in a video, which led me to seeking out the original source(s) of the tag and of course inspired my doing it on here. I liked the idea of opening up more on my writing process. Plus I also just thought it would be a good way for others to get to know a little more about me as a writer. So if you would like to get to know more about me, then by all means grab a cup of tea (or your beverage of choice) and keep on reading for my answers.

01. When do you write? (time of day, day of week)
I pretty much write when I can, where I can. I presently have a fulltime ‘day job’ working in health care. While my shifts are pretty set, I do bounce between first and second shift currently. So I don’t really have a set nine to five type of schedule to work around. On top of my current day job, I also care for my mom. So it’s not always easy creating specific times that I’m going to sit down and work on my projects. I simply do the best I can to make as much time as I am able to write, while aiming for at the very least one to two hours daily. Granted I do take unplanned days off, but for the most part I really do try to get at least a couple hours in.

02. How do you seclude yourself from the outside world?
Unfortunately I don’t have a home office that I can lock myself up in. I do have a desk/office area at home that I work at most of the time. When I feel the need to seclude myself, I make sure all the blinds are closed (lest I get distracted by nature outside), turn off the ringer on the phone, and put on my headphones to cancel out any extra noises around me. I’ve got some really good headphones that not only pump quality sound, but really do block out a lot of noise around me. On occasion I like to head to my local library, as they have ‘study rooms’. I can literally lock myself up in a quiet room and focus on my work.

03. How do you review what you wrote the previous day?
I’m actually currently making some adjustments in my writing habits. So this answer can easily be changed in the near future for sure, but presently I typically skim over what I wrote the day before. I am growing more into the habit of making even more notes to myself on my WIP though as I go. Just things that I may have added into the storyline or things I want to see going forward.

04. What song is your go-to when you’re feeling uninspired?
It really just depends on my mood, as there isn’t just one song. I love music. Music has always been such a strong influence in my life. So to pick just one song that lifts my spirits and helps re-inspire me… well that task seems impossible. Usually there is a list of songs I like to tune into to get my creative juices flowing once again. Maybe I should make a playlist and share it on here. If you’d be interested in that, let me know in the comments below.

05. What do you always do (i.e. listen to music, read, watch YouTube, etc.) when you find yourself struggling with writer’s block?
First I try to give myself the space to figure out why I am blocked. Is it to do with my project itself or something more emotional? If it’s to do with the project (i.e. a scene, hiccup in the storyline, etc), I feel like I can more quickly get out of the block and find my resolution. If it’s more of an emotional block I try to give myself the personal space I need to heal over what that may be. For example recently dealing with grieving the loss of a cherished loved one really hit me hard. I had to allow myself the space to step back and take the break I needed. I also allowed myself to fall into more reading time, as well as time watching early videos of a couple of my favorite ‘AuthorTubers’. That did end up helping shape my mindset back into writing more.

06. What tools do you use when you’re writing?
My ‘writer toolbox’ is presently updating, but I have to say besides my laptop. I always keep post-it notes, pens, pencils, and Microsoft Word. I keep my binder where I keep notes and such for the project I’m working on at the ready for references and updating. I also have the first six in the series of the thesaurus books by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. These books cover emotions, urban settings, rural settings, positive traits, negative traits, and emotional wounds. They recently released their second edition of the Emotion Thesaurus containing 55 added emotions – I plan to pick it up, just haven’t had a chance to yet. I’ve also added ‘Save The Cat’ by Jessica Brody to my writing toolbox. I love the concept of the beat sheet and am presently putting it into use to improve my manuscript for Collected (my upcoming horror debut), as well as trying it out on a short story (more info coming soon).

07. What’s the one thing you can’t live without during a writing session?
Post-It notes. No seriously. I am pretty adaptable when need be if I am in a space where I can’t light a candle, or crunch on something yummy (i.e. Peanut M&Ms, Honey Roasted Peanuts, etc). Sometimes I do squeeze a bit of writing time in unusual spots (i.e. somewhere outdoors, at my day job in between shifts, etc) and can’t have all the luxuries of being in my own work space. However, wherever I go to write I have to have my Post-It notes with me.

08. How do you fuel yourself during your writing session?
Tea! I don’t know what it is about having a nice cup of tea be it hot or iced, but it’s mostly my first choice in beverage for a writing session. It just makes me feel all charged and ready to go – which is funny, because I mostly drink caffeine free teas. I do also like to have some water by me, and admittedly Pepsi does make appearances during sessions as well. Usually when I am in my home workspace, I like to crunch on something while I write. I don’t know why it has to be crunchy, other than I’m probably a little crazy. Regardless, I love me some Peanut M&Ms or honey roasted peanuts. I also like almonds. Sometimes I’ll do hummus or spinach dip with pita crackers.

09. How do you know when you’re done writing?
When it comes to being done for the day, it’s when I realize I’m not writing things that make sense or sound good. It’s like my creative brain hits a wall exhausted and I start writing sentences that no longer make sense. When I see this start, I’ve learned to stop otherwise it just gets really bad and means more editing/work later. When it comes to a draft on a writing project, it’s really coming to that place where things feel nicely wrapped up. When I feel all the loose ends have been tied and the story has been told.

That’s it! I really hope you enjoyed getting to know a little more about me as a writer. If you want to watch the original sources created for this tag, you can view Kim Chance’s video by CLICKING HERE, and Mandi Lynn’s video by CLICKING HERE.

I’m actually going to directly tag The Haunted Wordsmith and A.M. Molvik’s Ramblings to do this tag. I’m also going to tag all of YOU who are writers. Of course if you do this tag, I’d love to see your answers. So feel free to drop the link to your tag post in the comments below!

Jane Ridgewood

8 thoughts on “The Writing Rituals Tag

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