Rituals, the brain … and writing

I’ve read a lot about rituals and how important they are when you’re doing creativity. There’s a lot out there about how the muse will only show up if you actually put your ass in the chair and wait for her. In fact, I think, if you’ve only got a very short amount of time to write or be creative (like all of us day-job-workers), then this is even important: we need our muse to show up on time, right?

And yet, if I’m honest, I think something in me is somewhat resistant to the idea that I need to make a special ceremony for my muse. Like, why isn’t it there already?? Maybe there’s something wrong with my muse? Maybe my will for the muse isn’t strong enough to summon her, etc.

So I was sort of encouraged to read this post about how rituals affect our brains. It’s a very scientific explanation of how that whole “put your ass in the chair” thing works: we perform better when we have a ritual.

Well, if science proves it, I guess I can let myself and my muse off the hook and start doing what the scientists tell me to. I am going to work on a ritual – nothing too intricate, but something to get me going in the morning. As we are heading into autumn/winter, I’m thinking my ritual should involve candles and maybe wonderful tea.

What does your writing ritual involve?

We’d love to hear from you, especially because next week’s podcast is about inspiration, motivation – and I think a big part of that is making it easy to stay motivated. A ritual can be a big part of it.

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