I would like to give credit for this blog topic to Accalia Leigh who recently wrote an assignment (run by the NANOWRIMO organisation) on this matter. Of late, I have been writing almost constantly around my work schedule. This is because leogrl19 and I are dedicated to completing the collaboration we're working on (and garner a lot of enjoyment from the process). I mention this because it differs from my usual writing process in several ways, although common elements still exist. The rituals outlined in this post will be fairly general.
My preference (when not participating in a collaboration) is to hand write. I treasure the opportunity to get away from computer screens as well as the flexibility that comes with being able to take a book and pen with me anywhere I go. I've always found the writing experience different in the two mediums, opting for the more manual activity and valuing the opportunity to edit when translating it from book to electronic document.
The morning or early afternoon are when I feel most inclined to write. I'm naturally a morning person and enjoy the peace of sitting with a warm cup of tea, book on my lap, listening to the world wake up. Fun fact: That is what I'm doing while writing this. :) My preferred place to write is a natural, relaxed setting, but the past few years have found me seated on the wing-back chair in my living room, a cat nearby, blanket thrown over me and some relaxing music playing. Having the time and peaceful atmosphere so that I can let my mind wander when thoughts elude me, are also integral parts of my ritual.
I don't generally eat while I'm writing since that endangers my materials, but I always have a beverage present – water or tea. Since writing is stationary, I usually require a blanket as well to feel cozy. Generally, I write between 15 and 30 minutes at a time, taking breaks to perform more menial tasks, then coming back to write for another stretch. At the end of each session, I review what's been written, sometimes reading it aloud to gain an additional dimension.
This read-through also consists of some editing with my own code. For example: If a word needs to be added, I write the word below or above the line and include a v or ^ to show where it needs to be inserted. Words to be removed are scratched out and their replacements indicated nearby. When whole sections need to be added, I write them in the nearest blank space then indicate either through arrows or reference (like, 'add to page 14') where the section should go.
What rituals do you have for your own creative process? Do you have any habits others might find unique? Unusual? All forms of artistic expression are intensely personal. Part of what makes each piece of art special is the process by which it was created, so take the time to consider and celebrate yours. Cheers!