My partner in b.read.crumbs, Julie Wray Herman, chose our topic for this month: Ritual. You can read her post about it on her blog or here
So. Ritual. What is that exactly? I looked it up so you don’t have to. Ritual is “a religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order.”
For example, if we wish on every falling star we see as a way of winning the lottery or finding true love, we’re committing an act of ritual. Sometimes we think really, really hard about becoming successful writers, and this may be a ritual if we do it repeatedly and fervently. You can see how both of these rituals might lead to huge disappointment if we never follow through with concrete actions, right?
But we could use a ritual to get us into the writing frame of mind or to generate a little creative motivation. Suppose the goal is to make words appear on a regular—even daily—basis so that we can complete more writing projects.
Let’s say there’s a writer who has been given Ritual as a prompt by her blog-partner. Let’s also say that this writer has absolutely no ideas for a piece based on the prompt and now it’s the 11th hour and her blog post is due.
We can all agree that the optimal time to conduct a writing ritual is after morning ablutions, coffee, playing Wordl, and checking email, social media, and Submittable (to see whether anything has changed from Received to In Progress.) By making coffee-Wordl-email-Facebook-Submittable a part of the daily routine, it actually becomes a ritual for our fuzzy-minded writer. With the computer already awakened, the writer need only invoke the .docx file upon which she wishes to impress her will.
Rituals can be performed anywhere, but are best kept to spaces where only like-minded souls will witness them. For our blogger, the best place to conduct a writing ritual is in the very spot where she writes, or where she fully intends to write just as soon as she gets around to writing.
The ritual begins with casting a circle (that’s metaphorical, FYI) to define sacred writing space. Let’s imagine that our hypothetical procrastinating blogger woman’s space is the portion of her desk that houses her computer and keyboard, a sharp-pointed pencil,
scrying reading glasses, a large chalice to hold the sacred mind-altering beverage, and a lucky buckeye that she rubs every time she clicks the ‘Submit’ button.
She then purifies the space by sprinkling it with inspirational quotes, reminders of previous acceptances, and supportive words from friends in order to dispel the negative energy of rejections and her own inner critic.
With all the necessary elements in place, our grasping writer defines the purpose of the ritual by sending a plea to the goddess/universe/basically any greater power that can make things happen.
To do this, she’ll use magic words to invoke the aid of anyone/anything that’s listening. Every writer must find her own magic words, but here’s a traditional writer’s incantation you may use: O Sender of Magnificent Prose, Know that the deadline casts a shadow upon my head and the advance is already spent. Bless me with your presence and cometh thou with haste and urgency.
WRAP IT UP
The most important part of any ritual is the closing. Once all the fancy requests and notions have been sent into the cyber-ether, our blogger must seal the ritual by taking action. That is, she must go write something. And so should you. Go write something, that is.
One helpful thing: Allison K Williams’s How to Write a Blog Post in an Hour
Deborah-Zenha Adams is an award-winning author of novels, short fiction, CNF, and poetry, and served as executive editor of Oconee Spirit Press for ten years. She is also a certified naturalist and a yoga educator. One of her most recent articles, “The Ancient Science That Can Help You get It Written,” appears on Live, Write, Thrive.
You can read previous issues of b.read.crumbs here.
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1 thought on “b.read.crumbs: Summoning”
There you go, writing the best kind of blog post on the fly. Ritual then action — truth!
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