Sunday, August 22, 2004

Getting in the Mood

The new issue of Poets and Writers also had an interesting article about writers' rituals. For example, Virginia Woolf wrote standing up. Robert Louis Stevenson got inspiration from dreams. (Which reminded me of comments from Jen -- of JMB -- regarding the origin of inspiration.)

Some of the anecdotes contained people needing a certain song to get into the mindset, or a certain song to evoke a specific mood -- time and place -- to get through a tough chapter or transition.

Of course I started wondering about whether I had my own little OCD rituals. I guess I've lit a candle on occasion; definitely relied on mood music on other occasions. But nothing really consistent, other than the fact that for a long time, I generally needed a long stretch alone to get the juices going, which was frustrating. Having a day job, how much alone time do you get? As recently as a year ago, I would find that weekends where I spent Friday alone, then Saturday, then Saturday night I would be able to sit down, calm, and write.

Luckily, here lately, I've been a little bit better about just sitting down and hacking away at something in piecemeal moments. I have noticed if I am too social, though, going out too much, I generally don't feel too incredibly inspired. I can't say I know why this is, considering society is what gives inspiration in the first place. I guess I just get too hyper or too distracted.

I'd love to hear about other people's rituals to get different types of inspiration going. The article definitely included some rather wacky and amusing examples. But hey, whatever works in summoning the muse.

Write on,



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