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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Heh, this might be a topic that's been discussed before, but I was wondering if other people out there have strange little things that they do before/during writing to get in a good head-space.  I like to pick an album or a band that I listen to every time while writing stories in a particular setting.  Then if I work on something else and come back, I can hear that album and it puts me back in the world of the story.  Only problem is that I have to pick something I want to listen to a lot  :D

Guess I was just curious if other people had things like this.  I'm always trying to get ideas about how to dive into a thing easier.
 

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Cups of tea and puffs on my vape, interspersed with lots of shouting at the dogs to 'shut the hell up', 'drop that,' 'calm down!' 'it's just the bloody postman!' seems to be my ritual.

I'm sure there's better ways, but that's mine. Used to be I had a study, where I could close the door, light a pipe and get into the zone. Now I live in a smaller house, my PC in the living room, so I have to work amidst my dogs running riot and my mrs watching Netflix/playing computer games.

Maybe one day I'll have a study again. Until then, c'est la vie!
 

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I've been in an abyss when it comes to writing all year so I have no rituals anymore. :(

Before, I'd listen to a video game soundtrack. I would also write with very specific conditions: full screen, all task bars visible, font size 13, justify alignment, 1.5 spacing, page background white, app background grey. I was an overly finicky writer, unfortunately. Disrupting any of those conditions would impact how productive I could be. Disrupt too many and I couldn't write anything. Half-screen writing, font size 11, left ragged alignment? Might as well not bother.  :p

Thankfully I never needed to do anything before or after writing beyond making sure everything was just right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Gareth K Pengelly said:
Cups of tea and puffs on my vape, interspersed with lots of shouting at the dogs to 'shut the hell up', 'drop that,' 'calm down!' 'it's just the bloody postman!' seems to be my ritual.

I'm sure there's better ways, but that's mine. Used to be I had a study, where I could close the door, light a pipe and get into the zone. Now I live in a smaller house, my PC in the living room, so I have to work amidst my dogs running riot and my mrs watching Netflix/playing computer games.

Maybe one day I'll have a study again. Until then, c'est la vie!
Ha, yep, doggies just don't understand when you are lost in an imagination land.
 

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Well sometimes when I write and I'm having trouble getting the feeling right for certain scenes, I play music. Action music for action scenes, sad music for sad scenes, happy music for happy scenes, or scary/intense songs for a scene that's supposed to be scary. I don't really have a specific ritual yet.
 

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NikOK said:
Ha, yep, doggies just don't understand when you are lost in an imagination land.
Just a bit. I've got a cocker spaniel and a greyhound. Got the greyhound because they're supposed to be quiet.

Mine never shuts up.
 

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I had a custom playlist for previous novel but I used that only during chores. It fit in as a prologue to my WEP session really well. The next WIP novelette is about the stalker of the classmate of MC's girlfriend. I don't know how music fits in here. But then I already have the first draft, so all I need is a strong cup of coffee. Getting the correct music that conveys the moods and intentions of the story is a big challenge. I think one needs to keep honing the custom playlist every now and then. Apart from music, other devices prior to writing would be facewash, bath, caffeine, tea, and most importantly a deep sleep. Anything that puts you into a reservoir of energy and good mood.  Even doing some Rubik cube or solving a math problem.
 

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Hey, had to laugh about the dogs, Gareth, feel your pain..the amount of times I've shouted that it's the postman, or the kids in the street, or just the blimmin wind!

Anyhoo...to answer I've no particular ritual per se.
Morning before work, coffee first then I'll get straight into re-reading yesterday and flow into it. No special keyboard, pen or mantra.

I can't particularly listen to music while writing but recently got recommended www.brain.fm It's an ambient music app that's supposed to put you in a focused mental state. Its pretty good. Use it if I'm writing in the living room while other half is watching soaps and dogs are dropping contents of their toy box at my feet.

They have a free trial (brain.fm.Not the dogs) :D

Phillip
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
VisitasKeat said:
I had a custom playlist for previous novel but I used that only during chores. It fit in as a prologue to my WEP session really well. The next WIP novelette is about the stalker of the classmate of MC's girlfriend. I don't know how music fits in here. But then I already have the first draft, so all I need is a strong cup of coffee. Getting the correct music that conveys the moods and intentions of the story is a big challenge. I think one needs to keep honing the custom playlist every now and then. Apart from music, other devices prior to writing would be facewash, bath, caffeine, tea, and most importantly a deep sleep. Anything that puts you into a reservoir of energy and good mood. Even doing some Rubik cube or solving a math problem.
I might actually try a bath of a nap/sleep sometime. Feel like I'm always writing after work or at the end of the day or something. Being well rested going into a thing might be a change for sure. Thanks for the advice!
 

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Sleep (brief or deep) followed by bath or facewash followed by a cup of piping hot, strong coffee or tea. No snacks. Body lotion for additional freshness is optional.

This works best for me and being alone in silent room or on a tablet in garden. Internet is allowed but only for world building. Duration of writing or editing cannot be more than 3 hours per day for me. Lying down and closing eyes for few minutes is allowed. No music. I used to listen while writing but discovered that it's best to listen to custom playlist over chores using Bluetooth headset.

All that happens is good if these conditions are fulfilled.

If feeling extremely tired or not in mood, the session is cancelled. I move onto the next activity in my daily schedule. Also, no appreciation if thousands of words are written, and no condemnation and guilt if zero words are written.
 

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Yeah, relaxing really helps get the creativity juices flowing. It becomes a problem when I'm trying to sleep and a thousand ideas pop into my head. I also find that, funnily enough, Minecraft helps to. When I'm just monotonously breaking blocks and filling in spaces with blocks, my brain starts to really think about the story. And, since I try to build maps to help me visualize where things are, my brain focuses on the story that the map is being built around. When I'm building a house I think of the backstory of the house and the people inside, I build a school I think of the school, etc., So, even if I don't make it exact, I think that playing a game for a couple hours might not be a bad writing ritual to have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Starcatcher said:
Yeah, relaxing really helps get the creativity juices flowing. It becomes a problem when I'm trying to sleep and a thousand ideas pop into my head. I also find that, funnily enough, Minecraft helps to. When I'm just monotonously breaking blocks and filling in spaces with blocks, my brain starts to really think about the story. And, since I try to build maps to help me visualize where things are, my brain focuses on the story that the map is being built around. When I'm building a house I think of the backstory of the house and the people inside, I build a school I think of the school, etc., So, even if I don't make it exact, I think that playing a game for a couple hours might not be a bad writing ritual to have.
Yep, I'm with you on monotonous things actually leading to fun ideas. Some of my favorite lines have popped into my head when I'm driving a tractor all day. Plus, I get the added incentive of absolutely wanting to think about anything other than driving a tractor all day ;D And the mind wanders into some good places sometimes.

Minecraft always seemed super fun. I just always have trouble because I look at things like that and think, uggh, I really don't need another hobby. But I'm glad that you can do it and that it adds to your writing. Kind of reminds me of those old fantasy series that always had a big map in the front of them so you could visualize the world.
 

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NikOK said:
Heh, this might be a topic that's been discussed before, but I was wondering if other people out there have strange little things that they do before/during writing to get in a good head-space. I like to pick an album or a band that I listen to every time while writing stories in a particular setting. Then if I work on something else and come back, I can hear that album and it puts me back in the world of the story. Only problem is that I have to pick something I want to listen to a lot :D

Guess I was just curious if other people had things like this. I'm always trying to get ideas about how to dive into a thing easier.
I usually sacrifice a goat. I haven't been writing much lately, though. (Run out of goats...) :'(
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
EC Sheedy said:
I usually sacrifice a goat. I haven't been writing much lately, though. (Run out of goats...) :'(
Blarg...this is why I haven't got to the next level yet. Goats are too cute and then I can't sacrifice them and then they end up in my back yard and then I just have goats.
 

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I like to make a playlist for each project that I'm working on, one track for each scene and action sequence. Strangely I don't seem to be making a great deal of progress.
 

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MorrowWriter said:
I like to make a playlist for each project that I'm working on, one track for each scene and action sequence. Strangely I don't seem to be making a great deal of progress.
So you kind of add scores to your stories? 8)

I'll need to try that. I mean I listen to songs but it could help to have songs that match the scene I'm writing.
 

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I have some go-to Pandora stations like Incubus, Stick Figure, Jesse Royal Radio. I also like to read Tor.com or Goodreads.com for stories/reviews of what other authors are doing, and that definitely gets me energized!
 

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Oh, forgot to add that apart from unlimited internet access for world building, posting on "Prompts" and "Scraps" threads is also allowed as I made them an integral part of my WEP session. Posting on word club and EIP threads is also allowed.
 
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