Thursday, August 20, 2015

Blogging Rituals That Make Me A Better Blogger





I'm a slave to my moods. 

This makes me an inconsistent blogger despite my best efforts to stick to a schedule. From planners to apps, I've tried everything to beat this inconsistency with no luck. Coming back from my hiatus, something I learnt was that writing was not the hard part. The hardest part for me, was starting
“I couldn’t write. I grew tense. I was strangled by my own ego, by my petty desire for what I perceived to be the literary brass ring. I was missing the point, of course. The reward is in the doing.”
Once I do start writing however, it's like a massive endorphin rush. That feeling of contentment and accomplishment is unlike anything I've felt.
“To forget oneself-to lose oneself in the music, in the moment- that kind of absorption seems to be at the heart of every creative endeavor.” 
I  have always scorned writing rituals as something for the eccentric [never mind, that I'm pretty eccentric myself ;) ]. But this realization that my problem lies at the commencement and not the actual process of writing, motivated me to look more closely at blogging and writing rituals. Writing/blogging rituals are those small feel-good acts that help you write without much conscious thought - The small acts that eliminate the self-doubt, crush the writer's block and spur one to start writing. Today, I'm excited to share a couple of rituals that I adopted to make my blogging life a little easier.

01.    A cup of tea in the morning savored outside, alone.

This seemingly mundane ritual never fails to both awaken and calm me. Black coffee on the other hand, is relegated for the late night study sessions and for editing. But tea, you see is the writer's elixir. 
“When tea becomes ritual, it takes its place at the heart of our ability to see greatness in small things. Where is beauty to be found? In great things that, like everything else, are doomed to die, or in small things that aspire to nothing, yet know how to set a jewel of infinity in a single moment?” 
It could be a cup of tea or a walk outside - Start your day off with something that makes you feel good.

02.   Design your “writing day”.

Some days I work best in pin drop silence, some days I crave some Hozier [Nothing like a a great writing playlist, eh?] and some days I just enjoy the background noise. Some days, I start early and some days I stay up late. Initially, I made the mistake of trying to find the right time and the right mood to write. Now I'm learning that the only right way to write is to keep at it.
“To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the music the words make.”
I try not let my 9-5 keep me from doing what I do best, writing. Because I'm easily distracted by things like e-mails and social media, I get it over with at the beginning of the day on weekdays. Then, I move onto reading my review copies/other blogs. This way when I'm back home, I have no excuse to procrastinate so I can just write. On weekends, I work for myself first by starting the day off with the most important task that is, writing and then moving onto the other stuff. Bringing in scheduled writing times everyday like this makes the act of writing a normal, routine part of our lives. 

As a huge advocate for the minimalist lifestyle, I work best with a clear desk and a clear mind so de-clutter away. Scheduling procrastination to reward myself is something that really works for me. For every 3 hours that I write, I schedule around 2 hours of things like TV show binges, Buzzfeed quizzes (SO ADDICTIVE) and social media.

Adopting a this kind of routine creates a positive effect on the brain and kick starts my creative process. It also helps me get rid of the nervous energy and helps me focus better.

03.   Plan ahead.

For a list-making addicts like me, Sunday nights are reserved for to-do lists. Every week, I write 3 specific goals and put it on my desktop so that I can't help but see it every time. An inspirational quote doesn't go amiss, either.
“Don't think too much. There'll be time to think later. Analysis won't help. You're chiseling now. You're passing your hands over the wood. Now the page is no longer blank. There's something there. It isn't your business yet to know whether it's going to be prize-worthy someday, or whether it will gather dust in a drawer. Now you've carved the tree. You've chiseled the marbled. You've begun.” 
Balancing my 9-5 with my blog also means that I always carry a notebook and pen with me. Not only does it help capture my ideas and thoughts as and when I get them but this kind of basic drafting makes the blogging process so much simpler.

Creating pre-writing rituals like these seriously, help remove that writer's block. These rituals also help get rid of the anxiety that's caused by the effort to write. Like Scot Westerfeld stated the “The best ritual is ritual”. Whether it's that mandatory cuppa tea, an emergency dance party or prancing about with your lucky (and hella ridiculous) socks - Go for it!
OVER TO YOU:

What are your thoughts on writing/blogging rituals? Do you have any? Or are you more of a spontaneous writer?
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3 comments :

  1. Compared to my cobloggers, I'm the one who plans ahead the most. Back when school wasn't in session, I had a planner and arranged a day or two a week JUST to do blogging and save drafts to my flashdrive so I could schedule it when I went to the library.

    As for everything else... I pretty much wing it.

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  2. Basically I just write whenever I feel like it, which is not really that helpful because UNI always gets in the way, but I've made it a blogging ritual to have a blog hop (at least try to when school doesn't get toxic) for at least an hour :) (Lately I've become more of a blog reader hihi ) but this is such a great post. Very thought provoking! :D

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  3. OHMYGOD, thank you for sharing these rituals. I have a love-hate relationship with blogging at the moment - I love sharing ideas and discussing things with people (that I never actually have to meet!), but I hate feeling overwhelmed by all of the little tasks that go alongside it. And your rituals just sound fabulous - I love the idea of having a writing day and getting super organised.
    Beth x
    www.thequietpeople.com

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