When I invite authors into The Authors’ Tent, I frequently ask about their writing routines. Turnabout is fair play, of course, so at the risk of sounding presumptuous (I’m unpublished…), here are some of the rituals I’ve incorporated into my own writing practice:
1, Clearing the Air. While I’m drinking my coffee, I burn a palo santo stick or light a candle under a small bowl of essential oil–infused water. As the smoke tendrils waft across my desk, I allow my morning mind to wander.
Some people draw inspiration and healing from special fragrances; others scoff and say that aromatherapy’s pure bunk. I say: Whatever works.
2. Bringing Light into my work space. When I flip the switch on my Buddha lamp, I pray that my story will reflect my own inner Light. He sits on the credenza beneath my office window, so whenever my eyes drift away from my my manuscript, I’m looking serenity in the face.
(It could be any light, really, but I love my smiling Buddha. He has a blissful face and prayerful hands, which speaks to me of contentment and inner peace.)
(Let me know if you want me to pick a card for you today…)
4. Practicing yoga. I’m not as consistent as I’d like to be. But when I allow time for yoga in the morning, I find it easier to stay centered throughout the day. It also replenishes my energy (in all senses of that word), which translates itself into vigorous, authentic writing.
5. Connecting with my friends. Last, but certainly not least, I spend a little time on LiveJournal almost every morning, and at random points throughout the day. I realize that some people consider blogging a colossal waste of time, but I consider it a priceless opportunity to learn from (and grow alongside) good-hearted, talented people.
So I’m wondering…what gets you started in the morning, and what keeps you going throughout the day?