Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Rituals and Routines

Do you have any rituals or habits? I heard a writer at a conference talk about how he never completed a sentence when it was time for him to stop writing for the day. He always left an incomplete line to finish when he returned to his story. He felt that this got him back into the swing of the story. I get this, but it would never work for me. I’d be stuck for hours (or days) trying to remember what I’d wanted to write. Still, I find it interesting how different people work.

I know another person (not a writer) who stops at the same store for a cup of coffee on his way to work every day. Honestly, I’m pretty sure his day would go into a full out tailspin if the coffee shop happened to be closed or out of coffee beans. This could, possibly, set off a chain of events with devastating consequences. Who can be sure?

As for me, I tend to be a bit freakish about my writing schedule. I always get up early to work. Not just because the household pets have come to expect an early breakfast (I really think someone taught them how to read clocks), but because my day would be totally out of balance if I got a late start. And don’t even talk to me about quitting early unless this has been prearranged and settled on way in advance.

How about you? Any not to be messed with routines or rituals?


  1. I was raised with strict routine. Right down to the same meal every Sunday, Monday, etc.
    I think that pushed me in the opposite direction. I hardly ever do the same things. My job has strange hours too.
    I've read somewhere that routine helps you free up brain power to make more important decisions. I think it's great you have a schedule you stick to.

  2. It's interesting that you don't have a routine or ritual after being raised with lots of it, Terry Lynn. And if routine truly does free up brain power, I'm going to have to get more structure into my life--I could use all the help that I can get. : )