Since practically the dawn of time, people have debated the best ways to write, and best environmental factors to include or exclude. Many people write with music, many people write without, some even write with just classical music without any vocals. Is there actually an answer to which is better?
Of course not.
Writers are a confusing breed as it is, but the most common trait we all share is the very fact that we are all completely different in our rituals. It goes without saying, if the project you are working on is to be good, and better than that, to be great, then whatever your external factors or rituals are, they have to be comfortable for you. They have to zone you out of your current life and enter you into the mood of the project so that your writing can be authentic. It has to help you feed a greater sense of productivity without piling the self-doubting pressure of time onto yourself.
If you have been following my blog and my Instagram you’ll know I am currently starting over again with my long-standing project ‘Rediscovering Clarity’ except that’s not its name anymore. It doesn’t have a name at the moment, simply because I’m scared that will restrict me at this stage. I paused my speedy laziness and went back to basics, outlining the whole story from beginning to end, so I know where I’m going when I’m writing. I found that I love jumping straight into it and the writing does work, but then I get stuck and it goes onto a wild tangent, so it makes far more sense to outline everything I can and carve a greater story from it. As you can see below:
Now that I have my story down, we turn to my playlist. This is perhaps my most prolific ritual when I’m writing. With each project, I feel I have to have music. Silence distracts me and I don’t like it very much, so I enjoy having music lightly in the background, providing an appropriate mood for my writing. It helps me to adopt whatever emotions my story is trying to evoke, method acting for writing if that is even a thing. As an example:
And now of course:
The novel I am writing is crossing between Speculative Fiction and Fantasy, and has an edgy vibe to it, so I’ve created a playlist full of folk, indie and alternative music to really get me into that mood. Whatsmore is many of the songs are either slightly painted with love, or are quite slow and sombre, and while my novel is, in places, quite humorous, its main core is to deal with mental health.
These playlists aren’t for everyone, and not everyone can be productive while listening to music, but I find them so incredibly helpful for my work ethic, and for transporting me into the world of my story. It’s these funny little rituals that really help us to become comfortable, and comfort is a risk of course in many areas, but I find in writing you have to be comfortable, you have to be yourself, with just a tinge of terror.
What are your rituals? Let me know down below and check out my poetry collection if you want to get an idea of my writing and of course keep an eye out for updates about this book! 🙂