How Writing Habits Make Writing Easier

by Guest Blogger | 65 comments

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Today’s guest post is by Michael Mahin. Michael is a repped screenwriter and children’s book author, with two books forthcoming from Atheneum and Clarion. He blogs about writing and dreaming big at He also runs a web design business that caters to building sites for writers, actors, and other creative types. 

As all athletes know, whether you’re getting ready for a basketball game or a short jog, you need to loosen up. But for elite athletes, just like writers, loosening up isn’t just about warming up the physical body; it’s also about preparing yourself mentally for what is to come.

How Writing Habits Make Your Writing Easier

Photo by Keith Allison (creative commons). Modified by The Write Practice.

If you’ve ever seen basketball star LeBron James’ pregame “chalk toss” ritual, you’ll know what I’m talking about. You may not toss chalk before you write, but you can develop writing habits that will make your writing easier.

Great Writers Share Common Traits

If you’ve read my recent guest posts, you’ll know that I’m obsessed with Susan Perry’s Writing in Flow: Keys to Enhanced Creativity (1999), an analysis of hundreds of interviews with award-winning writers. Based on her interviews (of everyone from Michael Crichton to Octavia Butler), Perry observed 5 common traits/ practices that most successful writers seemed to have in common.

I’ve talked about a couple of these key traits in my previous guest posts How to Be a Better and Happier Writer and How to Think Like a Great Writer. In this post, we’ll talk about what Perry calls “Loosening Up.”

Find a Way to Loosen Up

According to Perry,

“To allow your creativity, your insights, your inner stories to spill over onto the page, you’ll need to work out—consciously or not—some way to loosen yourself up so it can happen.”

James’ “chalk toss” was as much a part of his warm-up routine as shooting free throws was. But whereas the free throws warmed him up physically, the chalk routine was a ritualized behavior that (consciously or unconsciously) helped him enter the mental head space of the game. If you’ve ever seen him do it, it’s almost meditative. (It also happened to be a great shtick for the audience.)

This same principle works for writers.

In her interviews with writers, Perry noticed that most had developed some sort of personalized ritual or routine that seemed to ease them into their writing.

Perry explains how these writing habits and rituals work when she writes,

“By their habitual nature, they [rituals] help you make the shift into an alternate consciousness and contribute to your creative process.”

So, while James’ chalk toss helped him get into the “game on” mood, a ritualized cup of coffee can similarly help a writer say “game on.” Over time, these rituals can actually become behavioral triggers that help you get into the writing head space before you’ve even begun writing.

Create Your Own Writing Rituals

If you don’t have a writing ritual, try initiating one. Pour a cup of tea before you write. Clean your desk. Read the paper. Write at a specific time every day. Listen to a song that puts you in the right mood.

On the other hand, if you’re in a writing rut, try changing your routine to find something that works better for you. Keep track of the outcomes so you can repeat the writing habits that have the best effect.

The key is finding what works for you.

An Effective Writing Routine: Prewriting Exercises

Just like basketball players who warm up shooting baskets, prewriting exercises can help relieve anxiety about writing by occupying your mind with a familiar routine.

I used to start my writing sessions with a random exercise selected from a book. It helped counter my anxiety over what I should be working on by eliminating that choice. After I’d done the exercise, moving on to my “real” work was much easier.

Ray Bradbury's Writing Habits

One of my favorite prewriting routines is one that Ray Bradbury credits with helping him find his voice. (For more about Ray Bradbury and his classic book on the craft of writing, Zen in the Art of Writing, check out my blog post How Ray Bradbury Found His Voice and How You Can Too).

Bradbury’s “loosening up” routine was to get out of bed each morning, walk immediately to his desk, and write down any word or series of words that came to him.

Bradbury says,

“I would then take arms against the word, or for it, and bring on an assortment of characters to weigh the word and show me its meaning in my own life. An hour or two hours later, to my amazement, a new story would be finished and done. The surprise was total and lovely. I soon found that I would have to work this way for the rest of my life.”

Notice how Bradbury “loosened up” using a ritual (by writing this list first thing every morning) and a prewriting routine (in which he searched his list for a word or words to base a story on).

This is how Bradbury found his voice. How will you find yours?

What are your writing habits, rituals, and prewriting routines? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll share mine. Maybe the next Ray Bradbury is among us!


Take fifteen minutes to do what Bradbury did.

For the first five minutes, free associate a list of words (or images, or doodles, or whatever works for you). Don’t edit, and don’t stop for the full five minutes.

Then, for the next ten minutes, take one of those words (or a group of them) and use it as the basis for a story or poem. Don’t let yourself off the hook, but don’t feel like it needs to be anything longer than a warm up (unless you can’t help yourself).

Post your poem, story, reflections, or rituals in the comments below. And if you share, be sure to leave feedback for your fellow writers!

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  1. Elaine

    My writing practice is to go to my writing office in the basement, turn on my
    computer and printer. Then I freewrite for 15 – 30 min., I try to do it nonstop but then I forget to breathe. I print what I’ve written and put it in a binder where later I can mine for ideas and writing prompts. I do the work for my online writing class or work on my latest writing project for one to two hours. On days I don’t have homework I spend at least 30 min. reading a book about some aspect of writing. Then I spend another 30 min. reading good writing in different genres, outside my usual comfort zone. In the evening when time is available I will read a wide variety of books. I try not to get stuck in one type of writing. I want to keep growing and learning, and put lots of creative stuff into my compost heap.

    • Trudi Mckinney

      I like your routine. I neeeed a routine! I may try this one. I struggle because I feel that my Bible study needs to come first, and by the time I get that finished I feel I need to be up and working other things. I think I need to look at writing as more of a necessity than an extra curricular in my life.

    • Elaine

      Thank you Trudi. I’m retired so have much more control over my time.
      I have my quiet time first thing in the morning, then write. My first priority is spending time with God and renewing my mind with His word. Don’t give up. Use whatever time you find to write.

    • Trudi Mckinney

      I so appreciate your encouragement Elaine!

    • LilianGardner

      Hello Elaine.
      My first priority is the same as yours. I can’t start the day without saying my prayers. I’m not a steady writer, but I do try and get some writing done in my free time, which isn’t much.

    • Michael Mahin

      What about making prayer part of your prewriting ritual? Don’t pray about writing, of course, but just make writing something that follows it. It will help you enter that meditative/ creative state of mind.

    • LilianGardner

      A good idea. I will try it, Michael, thanks.

    • Michael Mahin

      Exactly! You make time for the things you want to do. Though, I’ve found, a couple extra hours a day wouldn’t hurt! 😉

    • Michael Mahin

      That’s a great routine Elaine! That’s the routine of someone who wants it. Good for you! Keep it up! 🙂 What online writing class are you taking?

    • Elaine

      Beginning Creative Writing @ Ed2go. I am enjoying it and learning something new every week. Found the class through a local college.

    • Michael Mahin

      Very cool. I’ll have to check out their offerings.


    i don’t have a writing ritual as such because i only recently started and i am just getting used to the different mentality i need in order to write. i will try the freewriting. i do have a book on becoming a writer which recommends 10 minutes writing to start with. i reckon i will start there and try to find something that works for me. the practice at the end of these articles are a brilliant idea.

  3. annaluna

    I tried the Bradbury warm up. I liked it. Chose the word “scurry.”

    Scurrying along, pressed closely to the ground, I tried my best to keep up with the rest. It was difficult. I wasn’t used to it. Nothing in my life had prepared me for this. Previously, I’d been led to believe I could avoid the same fate as all the others.

    No more.

    By now, the on-rush of armored players was normal. What wasn’t normal was me being stuck in the middle of it. You had to keep up or be crushed. It wasn’t fair, not at all, but I had no choice, not any more.

    Dad had told me, he told me, damn it, that he’d keep me out of it, even when everything went to shit, even when our family lost everything. He swore up and down, on his grandmother’s bible, that no Tantarus would end up scurrying.

    Shows you how much he knew.

    But then, by that time, Dad’s world was gone. It was a brand new way of life in the Brestlin borough, one that he refused to recognize. Steadfastly to the end, he kept his blinders firmly on.

    I didn’t have that luxury. I had to deal with things as they were, couldn’t indulge in the fantasy that our old way of life still existed.

    So every day, I went to the races. Submission was the game and that was a challenge if you were taught you were better than everyone else. The superior mindset had been ingrained in me from a very early age. Too bad it was useless now.

    I’d pluck my gear off the rack and, gritting my teeth, go through the laborious process of getting all the pieces on. If you didn’t do it just right, something might come loose in the middle of everything and then you were doomed. You had to learn fast to play this game.

    • Michael Mahin

      Nice! I feel a world and POV emerging!

    • annaluna

      Thanks! Cool.

    • Bruce Carroll

      Oh, wow! I want to read this novel! Should “borough” be capitalized? That probably doesn’t matter much in a warm-up.

    • annaluna

      Oh, thanks!

    • Cherrie Smith-Andersen

      Great piece Annaluna. Really vivid picture of the world.

    • I'm determined

      Um. (Me holding onto my ‘pieces’) What happened next? And next? How did your character resolve his/her dilemma?
      (I’m deep breathing to calm down.)
      Well written.

    • annaluna

      oh whoo, thanks.

  4. Christine

    I’ll choose the Merriam-Webster word of the day, CADENCE.

    Have you noticed that written English has a definite rhythm or beat? Right now I’m thinking especially of the cadence or variation of sentence lengths within the paragraphs that you see in a well written piece. Without a lively cadence, readers may soon nod off.

    Most paragraphs tend to start with a short summary. The challenge is laid out:
    “John didn’t want to get out of bed that morning.” Then we go on to the longer second sentence of explanation. Either he’d been up late the night before doing something and could hardly keep his eyes open, or he had some niggling feeling that the day was going to go seriously wrong. He sensed or knew that today he’d have to face a challenge he wasn’t prepared for. There may be a couple of these longer sentences that acquaint the reader with John’s situation.

    Then the next sentence winds down a bit, maybe adds a curve, but still in revelation mode: “It didn’t help that his best friend was away this week”— or “the science project was to be graded today and his wasn’t done yet” — or “he knew the scheme he’d worked out late last night may not play out as expected.” Then the last sentence comes back to a shorter summary: “John sat up and pounded his pillow, dreading the day ahead.”

    Some writers like to add clauses upon clauses and stretch out every sentence until the poor reader has to go back to the beginning and check what the subject was. Some writers spit all their sentences out like machine gun bursts:
    “John pounded the alarm’s snooze button for the second time. He wasn’t ready to face this day. He’d been up late last night working out his great plan. In the morning light, though, he had serious second thoughts. What if his plan wasn’t watertight? What if one of his listeners spotted a serious flaw? He’d come out looking like a fool. He could see his mates getting a big laugh at his expense. Well, he couldn’t just stay here under the covers. He’d have to get up and face the music. Come what may.”

    While there may be a time and/or a special market for this style of writing, you run the risk of your work sounding like the old Fun with Dick and Jane readers.

    Take any page of writing, go through each paragraph, and note the beats. See if you agree with my idea of cadence.

    • LilianGardner

      Christine, thanks for your post. I agree with your idea of cadence. I think that by practice, we learn when to apply stretched sentences and gun burst to add variety and zest to the story. I’m still learning how to write with style and ‘grab’ reader’s attention.

    • Michael Mahin

      I’m kind of starting to feel like trying to write with style can be a bit intimidating. It’s easier to just write, but then edit with style in mind once the style of the story has become apparent. What do you think?

    • LilianGardner

      Once more, I must give you credit. I’ll do just that.

    • I'm determined

      Sounds a good plan.

    • Michael Mahin

      nice! I heard it desribed like this- Long sentences lull us into a reflective mood, while short sentences engage us by pushing the pace. Kind of obvious, but sometimes I have to put my finger on the obvious to realize that it’s obvious.

    • I'm determined

      Both Christine and Michael –
      Christine, your writing definitely ‘show not tell’ cadence, reflective mood and pace. Should be in a teacher’s handbook, with its easily read flow.

  5. Reagan Colbert

    These are some great tips! I don’t have a prewriting exercise , except I always go back and read what I wrote in my manuscript the day before, just to get back into the mood of writing. It immerses me in the setting and helps me re-enter the mind of the character after living in the real world since I last wrote.
    I also have music that I listen to (like was suggested in this post). Tobymac music never fails to get me in a writing mood 🙂

    Like I said, I don’t have a prewriting exercise, but after reading this I just might develop one 🙂
    Great article!

    • Michael Mahin

      I don’t use a specific exercise either and if you don’t need it to get into your writing, I wouldn’t add one just to add one. Maybe you don’t need one. It’s great to be able to get right to the “important” stuff. On the other hand, experimenting couldn’t hurt- maybe it’ll help you like it helped Bradbury. Pre-reading is a good ritual in an of itself! A very common one too, according to Perry. You’re in good company!

    • Reagan Colbert

      Thanks, Michael. Glad to see I’m not alone!

  6. Jason

    This is a great tips! I will try it out!

  7. LaCresha Lawson

    Thank you.

  8. Michael Mahin

    So here’s my current ritual (it’s actually kind of new to me): I wake up at 5:30 AM. Make a cup of green tea. And write till 7 (when I join the kids and wife for breakfast.) Everyone knows not to interrupt me for ANYTHING (unless the house is burning down). An extended part of the ritual starts the night before- I find it helps me if I know what I’m going to work on the night before when I’m going to sleep. I seem to wake up more focused, excited, and mentally prepared. I’ve only been on this schedule for a week or so, but I can already see it working. I’m more focused, productive, and (for reasons I don’t totally get) seem to be less anxious and self-defeating. So far it’s a win-win!

    • Vincent

      That’s an excellent idea, I don’t know why I have not applied it to my writing. Hmmm, I will start doing that tonight. Thanks

  9. Bruce Carroll

    From my list I had “boxcar” and “Alice in Wonderland.” Not being able to choose between the two, I wrote the following:

    The boxcar rattled and shook as Meagan tried to settle down. She desperately needed sleep, more than even her empty belly needed food.

    Her mind drifted. She half-remembered a story from her childhood, about Alice falling down a rabbit hole and into a Wonderland. Meagan herself wondered if she could find this Wonderland. And if she could, would it mean she had no more troubles? Or would she simply trade one set of problems for a completely different set.

    The train rattled over a rough crossing, jarring her from a sleep she hadn’t quite claimed. Meagan sighed and rolled onto her side, resting her head on her arm.

    From the corner of the boxcar, a white rabbit stared back at her.

    • annaluna

      Ooh, good. Evocative.

    • Bruce Carroll

      Thank you.

    • Cherrie Smith-Andersen

      Great work. I loved it when the White Rabbit showed up. Could work as a micro story or the beginning of something bigger.

    • Bruce Carroll

      Thanks. I don’t know where this is going to go, if anywhere, but I have it filed away.

    • Alice Sudlow

      I like your neat combination of your two phrases. I also like the appearance of the White Rabbit, and I appreciate Meagan’s mature realization that Wonderland might not be a panacea. She sounds like a character I’d love to read more about. Nicely done!

    • Bruce Carroll

      Thank you for your kind words. I don’t know much about jumping freight trains, but who knows? Meagan might show up in a story somewhere.

  10. Vincent

    I don’t really have a ritual other than that I need to do a quick work out to get the blood flowing, some coffee in the morning and I am ready. I try to write a minimum of 800 words once I start writing. I sometimes write two or three times a day. Not necessarily on the same work. It matters not good or bad. Most are, well not good. 🙂 Next time I try this I it must be more spontaneous and in a different setting. Without further adieu, as always no editing:

    Blonde, bare, dog, computer, pen, keys, wallet, bicycle,
    painting, photos, flowers, art, blacksmithing, forge, hammer, anvil, paint
    tubes and paint, canvas, Murder, poison, brush cutter, throttle, journal, cell
    phone, phone, drawer, chest, amoire, gab, hanger, alone, wall, vines, A/C,
    light, Sunny, Saturday, June, sleeping, couch, camera,

    My dog is sleeping,
    The other is scratching and sniffing,
    What do they ponder,
    They wait for me to venture out,
    They wait for odors of near and far,
    For I have returned,
    My travels were not far,
    Nor long my absence,
    It matters not,
    Excitedly they greet,
    Tis a treat they want,
    And then they are off,
    One crawls upon his perch,
    The other sniffs about,
    Bounce, bounce, bounce goes the ball,
    Off the couch in a single leap,
    Advancing down the stairs,
    There it is!
    His arch enemy,
    He has waited all day to pounce
    To capture and chew,
    Fuzzy and Yellow it be,
    This enemy of his,
    The other just sniffs and persists,
    Don’t bother me,
    Two dogs, two personalities,
    When I am gone,
    Do they ponder whence I be,
    Or do they just lay waiting for me.

    • Michael Mahin

      I’m with you on the “most, well, not good” but writing is revising, as they say. key is to get it on paper, which is sounds like you’re doing. Good work on the list and poem. I think they PAWnder whence you be. Sorry, couldn’t help myself. 🙂

    • Vincent

      That’s good, I missed the opportunity. hahaha.

    • Alice Sudlow

      This was quite the fun read! I can vividly see your dogs, especially the rambunctious one bounding around after the ball. Thanks for sharing!

    • Vincent

      Thank you.

  11. Vincent

    In the morning as I just stated I guess that is my warmup. During the rest of the day. I try to take a walk and clear my mind and then look around for differences. Not so much as inspiration, but something different to add to my writing. Clearing my mind is more important, it allows it to wander and play.

    • Michael Mahin

      Walks are good! Another common ritual among writers according to Perry!

  12. Cherrie Smith-Andersen

    I’ve done a variety of rituals to get myself out of the rather long block I’ve had recently. Rituals that have worked for me include:
    –Meditation while counting down from 20.
    –Turning on White Noise or Natural sounds and listening with my headphones:
    –Doing a few minutes of Zentangle before writing:

    This morning I did Ray Bradbury’s exercise. I got a pretty good result:

    [Frustrated, Wet, Pressure, Joy, Melt, Calm, Tantalize, Peace, Break, Pain, Beaten, Fact]


    Ameheer followed the dark cloak of Master. Her face hidden behind the folds of the cowl and the dark veils. she turned her head first right then left, slow, so not to be noticed. To either side of her textures tantalized, begging to be touched. Colors cried out to her. Calming blues, melt in the hand chocolate browns, joyful, celebratory yellow, pain and loss mortuary purple. All of the cloth pressuring her, cajoling her to put out her had to touch, bring to the cheek, sniff. All forbidden acts festered in frustration.

    From the corner of her eye, a quick flash. She slowed her pace and turned her head to see what had called out to her. Shimmering cloth, wet looking like water. How could such a thing be cloth? How did the bolt stay frozen like that in this heat and not run down the table, make a puddle on the floor. She glanced to Master, bargaining for the best scratchy black cloth. Ugly, say nothing, be nothing black cloth. She looked back at the water captured in the woven threads and her hand worked its way out of the folds of stiff black cloth to the freedom of air away from her body, to touch the mysterious cloth. Peace at last. Slippery. Stiffer and less giving than she had imagined. The magic broke down on the other side of the cloth–rough, canvas like.

    The swat of the stick came with break bone, split skin speed. She yanked back her wounded hand and her head snapped up, staring into the vengeful eyes of Master. She had shown skin in public. The weight of the act collapsed upon her now.

    At home, out of the vision of others, would surely come a beating.

    • I'm determined

      Incredible. Really really good. I was there with Ameheer, being her. That beautiful cloth – had to be satin. That stick. That vengeful face. How dare he!

    • Cherrie Smith-Andersen

      Thank you!! Blushing.

    • Michael Mahin

      those rituals are great for getting through “blocks.” i’ve started mindfulness exercises too. but if you’re writing, are you really blocked? I thnk blocked is a bad word for something that is part of the process of writing, it’s just a negative, self-shaming way of interpreting frustration. maybe constipated is a better word. okay, maybe not.

    • Cherrie Smith-Andersen

      Hmm. Constipated. I think I will stick with blocked.

    • Michael Mahin


  13. I'm determined

    15 minute Bradbury practice –

    Arnold wanted to challenge Mathew in
    the athlete field. Arnold really meant
    to give that braggart the hiding of his life, there in the track events. Mathew
    boasted about how eating avocados got his legs up and running, got him soaring
    over hurdles. Avocados were his super food, his energy power supply.

    Arnold got in a supply of avocados.
    He’d gone shopping for them when he’d visited his grandmother in a distant
    town. A long way distant. Grandma had encouraged him to do his best, but maybe
    not depend too much on excessive avocado consumption? Besides, they’ll go off
    unless he ate them in a short time span, wouldn’t they? Grandma wasn’t too sure
    about how long avocados lasted in the fridge, she’d never bought them, let
    alone eaten them. But he was her son’s boy, he was precious to her. She
    encouraged him to do his best, but to not depend too much. ‘Anything can
    happen,’ Grandma said.

    Arnold set himself to eating
    avocados. And stretching. And running. His tummy got to feeling a bit queasy,
    so he ate a piece of bread, so see if his tummy settled down. For some reason a
    carrot beckoned him; he ate that on the way to the track events.

    Arnold lined up with the other athletes.
    Mathew thrust out his chest and boasted of how he was the best amongst those
    present. We’ll see about that, Arnold
    thought. He struggled to bend down and retie his sneakers. His stomach was
    still full of avocados and that carrot.

    The whistle blew. The athletes took
    off. Arnold put one foot ahead of the other, forced himself to run. His tummy squirmed.
    He forced his lips together so as not to throw up.

    Arnold came last at the finishing

    ‘I don’t understand!’ Arnold glared
    at Mathew, as he was proclaimed winner.

    ‘What don’t you understand?’ Mathew
    smiles, as he eyed his woe-filled rival.

    ‘I ate avocadoes. I ate a huge bag
    of the blasted things!

    ‘Mathew shrugged. ‘Over how many
    days, weeks?’

    ‘Over ten hours!’

    ‘Ten hours?’ Mathew couldn’t hold
    still for laughing. ‘It’s a wonder you’re still standing. How did you possibly
    manage to run at all?’ He looked with
    pity on his rival. ‘Look. Come over to the canteen with me. I’ll share some
    pointers with you.’

    ‘So that I can run track as good as

    Mathew shrugged.

    ‘So that I can maybe,’ Arnold looked
    slyly up at his mentor/tormentor ‘even beat

    ‘Depends if you get to do the work.’
    Mathew gives a thump on Arnold’s back. ‘Come
    on, I want an energy drink. Put in a lot of effort out there, winning that cup.’

  14. Tia Lord

    My writing begins with strong black coffee in a cozy cafeteria nearby my home. Two or three cups of coffee have formed a particular ritual that always invigorates me. I strongly believe that creativity is almost impossible without oddish way of thinking. How much was I surprised to read about weird writing habits of famous writers , I couldn’t even thought that someone might prefer writing horizontally.

    • Michael Mahin

      Gore Vidal said this about his writing ritual, which included coffee. “First coffee, then a bowel movement. Then, the muse visits me.” Without digging too much into the magic of coffee let me just say I almost used this quote in this post, so thanks for giving me an excuse to use it! 🙂

  15. Meral

    The person who is moody like me, how they can set rituals for writting for fifteen minutes. I want you to give me tips for resolving this problem.

    • Michael Mahin

      Hi Meral, I’m not sure what the problem is. What does being moody have to do with it? You mean, sometimes you’re in the mood to write and sometimes you’re not? If that’s it, my suggestion would be to not let your mood dictate your writing schedule. Set a schedule and stick to it. The more you write, the more you will be in the mood to write. It’s good practice having to write when you’re not in the mood. Eventually, you may have a deadline that you have to meet, and who’s to say whether you’ll be in the mood or not. Having said that, strict schedules aren’t for everyone. Only you can tell whether your “mood” is an excuse to avoid writing or not. It used to be for me, which is why I i’m experimenting with a schedule. You could experiment too. For a couple weeks, see what happens.

    • Meral

      Michael ! Really nice suggestion to work on but who will give me strict deadlines? Whenever i have had a strong urge of writting, my mood always spoiled it. I always wanted to feel words and transport myself with the flow but world of imagination shut its door on me and never allowed me to enter. Once in a back time, i entered and wrote a poem, thats wonderful part me that i always missed.

    • Zerelda

      You should do NaNoWriMo this year. Keeping a journal has been helpful for me to build up endurance. It used to be hard to write half a page, now I can write three or four at a time. When it comes to being moody, it helps if you know why you want to write and you can say to yourself, for example, “I know I feel like Netflix, but I want to write because I want to reach x goal and fifteen minutes today will help me get there.” Make it a positive thing.

      Fifteen minutes is a good amount of time to write. You can get something done without exhausting yourself. Find a time when you usually have twenty or thirty minutes that won’t be interrupted and then make a habit of using that time to write. Rituals might help you get in the mood for writing. I like to write at dusk when everyone is in bed. I turn the lights down, turn on some music (to fit the mood of the WIP), and settle in with a large glass of water. I can write for hours under those conditions. All my work for the day is done and no one is going to interrupt me. I don’t like writing during the day as much because…my head hurts if I sit down for too long. *shrug* You can have tea or some appealing food before you start or after you finish writing to help you associate writing with something pleasant or just make the setting somewhere you want to be. You could work writing into your bedtime routine or morning routine or lunch break. If you can’t make yourself write about imaginative things, just write about your day and real life. Write poetically about things you can see. There’s a story there.
      You are just as capable of writing great stories or poems as anyone else. It is an art form, You can learn it. But art is just like a sport. You’ve got to play to play well.

      But maybe you’re a dancer, or a song writer, or a painter and you just don’t know it.

      Hope that helps. 🙂

  16. Stella

    Obsessive-compulsives spend hours every day washing their hands. What if they could get rid of all bacteria in their body once and for all?

    The latest revolution in medical technology: Introducing the High-Tech Purifying Laser! An enhanced system which scans the body and eliminates dirt, dead skin cells and bacteria with a highly-focused, no-pain laser. Never take a bath again! Our laser saves water, time and gets you cleaner than any bath ever could. To show the laser’s very first public use, its very own inventor Dr Henrik Rubin will be demonstrating it on himself!

    Body scanned. Initiating laser.

    Epidermis purified. Re-scanning for residual debris.

    Residual debris eliminated. Internal bacteria detected. Commencing elimination.

    “No, wait – ”

    The human body has millions of intestinal bacteria. Without them, we would die.

    The High-Tech Purifying Laser was quietly taken off market.

  17. Diamond Fox

    Honestly I use writing prompts to start a lot of my short stories. I have a huge collection that I have created myself (enough for several books) and I also like websites and writing magazines that contain exercises. I also like this site with the articles and they give me ideas.
    Prompts really get me going. I like to have a more elegant way of starting to write like lighting a scented candle, pouring a glass of wine, and listening to music. .Writing in parks, coffee shops, and at home are cool too. I hope it pays off one day soon.

  18. Sarah

    Fascinating article! I belong to that kind of people who must perform a special ritual to start writing some creative post. So, the first and the main thing for me is to start write closer to night because I’m a night person. At night, I can better concentrate on doing the thing in a proper way. Also, I always bring some food with me which I eat between writing the next paragraph. Usually this is a cup of green tea with ginger and lemon and a chocolate bar. Those things are really helpful for me cause I can’t work without breaks. Another important thing relates to the process of writing itself. I always use some effective tools which assure my text is good enough. I check it for grammar mistakes with Grammarly and sometimes, when I do rewriting I use PlagiarismSearch to make certain I didn’t plagiarize someone. After completion of writing I go to sleep with a feeling of good finish 😉



  1. How LeBron James' Chalk Toss Can Make You a Better Writer - Michael Mahin - […] In this post, I talk about what Perry calls “Loosening Up” and how it can not only make writing…

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