Ritual and creativity

Everyone has rituals. Holiday rituals, seasonal rituals, daily rituals. Most of us call those last rituals habits. I’m trying to start 2014 off right by taking a class with my writing buddy, Susan. Mary O’Gara is a creativity coach and writer, and she’s offering a class on Launching the New Year.

Even my brother’s getting in on the act. While he’s not a writer, he is a musician, and something must be in the air, because he sent me a link to this article in the Guardian about “the daily rituals of history’s most creative minds.” I found it entertaining – though I could swear I’d seen it before. Likely just a review of the book mentioned in the article.

The six rules mentioned are fairly common, and I’d agree with most of them.

Let’s face it, starting your day early gives you more time for everything and anything you want to do. Having a “day job” forces you to focus on your creative output more intensely – and limits your capacity for unnecessary distraction. Taking a walk and sticking to a schedule are both good for anyone, not just us creative types. Not a fan of the limited substance abuse, though they’re really just talking alcohol and caffeine. (I don’t consider chocolate or a good cocktail or a nice cup of tea substance abuse. All things in moderation.)

It’s that last one I have trouble with. Working anywhere. We’ve been over this before. I like to work at my desk, preferably alone except for the dog. (How the heck did Jane Austen write in the family sitting room, whisking her work into her desk every time a neighbor dropped by?) Guess I’ll just have to keep working on that last rule, no pun intended.

And speaking of rituals, I’m finished with one of my least favorite. Doing anything except working on my book. Even productive distractions are distracting….

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2 thoughts on “Ritual and creativity

  1. It’s difficult to change, even if for the good. I’ve been trying, for years, to change critical habits and have yet to be successful. BUT—I never give up hope 😀 Good luck in achieving whatever you need to achieve, Leslie 😀 And I hope you enjoy your class!

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