Uncategorized · Writing

Writing Rituals – Round Robin

The alarm goes off at 5AM every morning.

I have it strategically placed several feet away from the couch, where I have collapsed to

Nuisance – Don’t let him fool you. 

sleep some six to seven hours before. Dodging Nuisance (the kitten), I stumble my way across the room to turn the alarm off and stand there for several minutes in the dark, teetering on my feet because at this point I’m still trying to remember why exactly my alarm has gone off at such an hour.

Eventually I remember that it is a weekday and it is time to write.

Making what can only be described as a zombie-like shamble through my dark apartment, I locate the coffee machine and set it to brewing and stand for several more minutes, staring at the coffee level as it rises.

At this point I may actually be sleeping while standing up. It’s really kind of a mystery.

Camp NaNoWriMo mug in hand – full of coffee, thank heavens – I make a somewhat less zombie-like shamble to the computer and power it on. The trick, I have found, is to drink at least half a mug of coffee before I open the manuscript and begin to review what was written the day before. This means that I have approximately fifteen minutes to check email, Facebook, Google+, and possibly Twitter (really, I know everyone loves Twitter but all the hashtags make little sense to me, especially at 5AM).

Once the coffee hits the midway point of the mug I am sufficiently awake enough to really comprehend yesterday’s work. Now then, depending on the time of year, I am either in the middle of editing or I’m in the middle of creating.

296311_500604823329356_837081728_nThe first five to six months of the year are dedicated to editing. January through the end of May I can get through two major hauls on two different novels. This work consists of multiple colored pens and a printed manuscript and, if I’m doing it right, I can get five chapters done in a week.

My pens are color coded for each book. Different colors for different character arcs and development, a color for typos (normally red), a color for plot issues (often purple), and a color for graphic detail (green – which tends to be the heaviest color on the page.)

Monday through Friday I work on a chapter a day. Saturday I transfer all handwritten changes onto the computer. Sunday … I nap. Or play Star Wars.

June through December are my “creation” months. This is when I write new novels. I can do approximately two chapters a week while in “create-mode”. Sometimes more.

At present, I am in “create-mode” so after my first cup of coffee has been consumed I have gone over the previous day’s writing (and hated it, I always hate it at first) I begin working.

I pause for more coffee.

And then I pause again to hold my crystal ball.

Because yes, I have a crystal ball. It feels good in my hands, large and cool to the touch, and it helps me concentrate.

By 8AM I have gone through my second cup of coffee and must save all content to multiple places because I am obsessive-compulsive about making sure all copies in all virtual hidey-holes have been updated.

At random intervals I will have had to pause to pet Nuisance and Pest (the grumpy older


cat) and informed them both that they are detrimental to the creation process, but neither of them seem to care.

Nevertheless, it is now 8AM and I must wake the child up and prepare him for school. At 8:25AM we are in the car and heading out for the day (because we are freaking awesome at that). For the rest of the day my writing rituals include keeping the outline of the novel on hand for note-taking and 3×5 cards for any scenes that must be written down before they are forgotten.

Check out what some of my fellow authors do for their writing rituals in this month’s Round Robin Discussion!

Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
A.J. Maguire  https://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/ (YOU ARE HERE)
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Dr. Bob Rich https://bobrich18.wordpress.com/2016/09/24/is-my-writing-right-for-you
Rachael Kosinski http://rachaelkosinski.weebly.com/
Anne Stenhouse  http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com/
Connie Vines http://connievines.blogspot.com/
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com
Victoria Chatham http://victoriachatham.blogspot.ca
Margaret Fieland http://margaretfieland.wordpress.com
Rhobin Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com


2 thoughts on “Writing Rituals – Round Robin

  1. 5 a.m. ? I admit to being unable to sleep and getting up at 5:30, but never earlier. I remember it being very dark and very quiet, so it was peaceful. Anyway, I’m beginning to think all writers must have a obsessive-compulsive streak. Enjoyed your post!

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