Melissa Grey is the author of The Girl At Midnight, which in my opinion, looks fan -freaking- tastic. She's also going through a tough time with her sick cat and if you want to help, please take the time to check this page out!
This is probably the most common ritual you’ll see authors engage in. Time is our enemy. Deadlines have a habit of looming. This is a part of my process, albeit the least fun one.
2. Stop panicking
This is the most important step after number 1. I tell myself to stop comparing myself to everyone else. All I can do is sit down and write my own book and let myself enjoy it.
3. Light a candle. Or two. Or twelve.
Mood lighting is very important, especially when you’re accompanied by the glare of a computer screen for months on end. I like to make my workplace atmospheric, that way when panic sets in (see step number 1), I have the nice calming scent of a dozen Yankee Candles to soothe me.
I have a tendency to chew on my lower lip when I’m thinking and as a result, my lips get super dry. Typing in cold weather (Yay New York!) can also do a number on one’s skin. I always keep some olive oil on my desk to keep my hands nice and soft. My computer keys are maybe greasier than they should be but hey, it’s effective.
5. Get distracted by my cat
I can’t help it, she’s super cute. I let myself indulge in adorable feline shenanigans for five minutes tops, then it’s back to work.
You’ll notice that none of these steps have anything to do with writing (directly anyway). That’s okay. What I’ve learned is that shackling yourself to rituals can make it hard to write when conditions aren’t optimal. Every now and then I like to engage in some silly ones while keeping in mind that it’s my job to write anywhere, anytime.
I've never thought of authors having writing rituals before, which now seems super clear. I know that a lot of musicians have pre-show rituals which makes total sense for it to apply to authors!