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  • April 10th, 2008 | 12:43 PM
Transitions and rituals

I am working on transitions, the real life kind, not the ones in the stories we write. It's something I struggle with, moving from home to dayjob to dayjob to home. From writing to wife to gardener to playtime. From mother to daughter to friend.

So I am exploring the use of rituals to assist me with these transitions. I suppose you could call them habits but I like the word ritual so much better.

I have a few but I don't have one yet for sitting down to write. Sitting at the computer in the morning usually means a cup of chai but that's about it. I know some people start music (I'm working on a playlist) and some light candles, sharpen pencils, etc.

What about you? What rituals do you have in your life?

There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 13 comments — Leave comment )
April 10th, 2008 08:48 pm (UTC)
I have a few rituals, but nothing really unusual or noteworthy. Morning is my best writing time, so I usually get up, drink some coffee, read the paper and then head straight to the computer. I check email, read my flist, and then jump into my current WIP. No candles, no music, just silence :) When my BIC wears out, I go directly to the exercise tape and work out the kinks for 30 mins. That's my winter regimen. Summer is more fluid. lol.
April 17th, 2008 02:24 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a lovely routine that works for you. It's funny, when I come to work in the morning, the dayjob, I often have writing thoughts to jot down before I dig into the non-writing job. But when I am home on my days off I can't write first thing.

Love that you are disciplined enough to exercise after.
April 10th, 2008 09:03 pm (UTC)
I must have tea.

I need to set up some stricter rituals, I think. As in maybe staying offline until... :)

Looking forward to hearing what transition rituals you establish.
April 17th, 2008 02:26 pm (UTC)
I love that you know what you must have. I'm so wishy washy that it seems like it changes all the time.

Except for the quiet. I always need quiet.
April 10th, 2008 09:48 pm (UTC)
A totally unrelated ritual for
Spring into Summer, BayCon.

Are you going? Do you know anyone who needs a roommate. I have reservations. Same goes for Worldcon.

April 17th, 2008 02:28 pm (UTC)
No, I'm afraid I'm not going but hey, you're coming to my neck of the woods! Not sure what your schedule is going to be like but maybe we can meet for coffee/tea/chat?
April 17th, 2008 03:31 pm (UTC)
Once I get my schedule I'll post it on LJ and you can see if you can squeeze in there. I didn't go last year so I have no idea if they feel snubbed and program me minimally or if they pile it on to make up for last year.
April 10th, 2008 10:28 pm (UTC)
I have none right now, but today when I woke up I thought "I'm wearing my author's hat today." As I normally call myself a writer rather than an author, I wondered what that meant, which lead to my post earlier today. I am now seriously considering getting out different hats to wear and when I'm wearing them I do nothing but write new things, or revise, or do marketing stuff.
April 17th, 2008 02:29 pm (UTC)
You know I have heard a lot of people have certain hats they where when they are writing. I like that idea, the putting on of the author's hat to ease you into the work.
April 11th, 2008 01:13 pm (UTC)
As you so often do, you made me think. I don't have the rituals beyond the totally mundane -- get the dogs fed and out and in, put on coffee, check email and LJ -- but I think it's a good idea. I thought of our last correspondance when I mentioned reading Paterson's essays, and you mentioned how susceptible you were to what you read. I wonder if reading a few snippets from her essays and other work we find inspiring and direct link to our hearts would help? Often I do find this on LJ. But sometimes you bump into material that makes me think oh no! They are so much more productive than me! Why aren't I doing that? Oh, editors, agents, business... that can distract from the heart of a story....Snippets. I'm going to open Paterson's The Invisible Child today and her essays are so often full of anecdotes and transitions, you can read a page or two and stop. Until the next day.

Thanks for getting me thinking about this. Stalling and bumps, the universal issues, how do we get through?
April 17th, 2008 02:56 pm (UTC)
Sorry it has taken me a while to get back to this. I actually thought I HAD responded but I guess that was only in my head. :-)

I'm glad I made you think because you so often do that for me as well! You picked up on my comment about being susceptible to what I read and gave me a new direction to ponder. I think I am going to start collecting the sorts of things that inspire me to write, longer pieces than just a quote, and create my own "ritual reading" type of book to leave by my desk.

Thanks for the idea!
April 11th, 2008 03:26 pm (UTC)
My sister-in-law, who's a writer and a vocalist, knocks on her own office door and then invites herself in. I really like that one. Give it a whirl...
April 17th, 2008 02:39 pm (UTC)
What a fun idea! My office door is rarely closed since you have to go through it to get to the backyard. Maybe I could get a bell and put it on my desk and use it instead.
( 13 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.

Susan Taylor Brown

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