Writing Rituals

Developing our own unique rituals can help us become more productive in our writing. They offer us the freedom to tap into ourselves – to find those things that connect us with our imagination.  For some, sitting at a desk wearing a pair of boxers and sipping on coffee might bring on the muse.  Others might connect with their story by taking a walk in the woods or listening to a soundtrack of their favorite movies.  (I love listening to music from The Lord of the Rings.)  The choice of ritual isn’t as important as the results.  Ultimately, the object is to clear away the static so our thoughts and ideas flow.Writing RitualsWhat are your rituals?

Lessons Learned

winnerI love winners.  I love underdogs.  I love losers when they don’t give up.  But I don’t love quitters. And that one thing – not wanting to be a quitter, not wanting to feel like a person who throws in the towel, has about wore me out.  It’s been two years since I published my first book.  Since then, I’ve worked on the sequel, written and published a novella and wrote another story.  But it’s that sequel that’s killing me. I think about the characters, how the story should go, what I want to happen.  It all sounds good in my head – and yet, when I sit down to write, I lose interest.

Other characters have popped in, wanting to tell their stories, and I told them to hold on.  It wasn’t their turn.  After a while, they stopped knocking on the door of my imagination.  And that’s sad.  It bothers me that I stubbornly clung to the idea that I had to do a trilogy – because that’s what YA writers do.  Those other stories, those other characters, are like smoke rising in the air.  How do you recapture those ideas?  Because it’s not like I haven’t tried.  I wrote down the ideas – I knew to do that much.  But going back a reading over those thoughts – I’m not finding the magic.

After so many hours working and reworking the sequel, I’ve got to admit it:

I’m a quitter!

Maybe one day, the story will flow.  But now is not that time.  I’m shelving the sequel.  I’m reclaiming the joy I had when I wrote the other stories.  It’s okay for me to put something aside when it becomes a burden.  And that is exactly what the sequel has become.  And it makes me sad to admit it.

But –

I’ve learned something important.

As a writer, I should have stayed true to my first instinct.

If I would have done that, then those other characters – their stories would have been told.

And –

I remembered something important.

Just because other people are jumping off bridges, doesn’t mean I have to.

If I would have worried less about what other writers were doing, I would have been satisfied with a stand-alone book.

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