Creative Rituals

post by Michelle Griep

When I hear the word ritual, I think gutted animals tied up in tree limbs, usually involving goats and pentagrams. Don’t worry. I’m not going all Ouija board on you today. I simply came across an interesting article about Creative Rituals You Should Steal and . . . well . . . I am stealing them and sharing them with you.

#1. Create an interesting people fund.
Save up some moolah and some time, then spend it to meet and/or hang out with interesting people. By pre-committing, you’ll be more likely to do it. You can’t make quirky characters if you don’t actually spend time with some.

#2. Get out of the building.
Take a nature hike. Go eavesdrop on the beach. Change up your scenery.

#3. Brainstorm at the coffee shop.
Okay, so I love java, but if you don’t, then choose a different atmosphere that engages your mind. This is somewhat like #2, but the difference is that here you’re refining a specific project or have a certain goal in mind.

#4. Partake of Morphological Synthesis.
I know. Sounds like a disease. Nope, it’s just a way of segmenting your thinking process into parts by basically asking questions. It’s like playing the What-If game with your plot or characters. To generate ideas, simply ask what happens if fill-in-the-blank. Once you have an answer for that, repeat the process with that answer. Keep it up and you’ll have all kinds of new ideas.

#5. Envision what you’ll be remembered for.
Think legacy. Refresh your mind of what your mission statement is to keep you on track.

#6. Take a quarterly vacation.
Yeah, it’d be nice to cruise the Mediterranean 4 times a year, but shoot. I haven’t even been there once. A vacation doesn’t have to cost big bucks, though. Just unplug and get away from your routine for a long weekend. Get off the grid.

#7. Hold a “Retrospective” after a project.
Basically this is a de-briefing with yourself. What things did you do right on whatever your most recent creative project was? What things went wrong?

#8. Write every day.
It’d be nice to pound out 10 pages each morning before noon, but realistically, that’s not going to happen. Don’t sweat the word count. Just write, even if it’s a simple little blog post.

#9. Keep “Tear Sheets” to get inspired.
For me, this is my Pinterest boards. For others, it might be magazines. Movies. Beautiful artwork or even greeting cards or invitations that are particularly interesting.

#10. Take a nap.
Grab your satin-edged blankie and curl up for 10 minutes or so. You don’t have to actually sleep. Just close your eyes and relax.

What are some of your creative rituals? Share in the comment section so we can all steal expand our ideas.

Like what you read? There’s more. WRITER OFF THE LEASH: GROWING IN THE WRITING CRAFT is a kick in the pants for anyone who wants to write but is stymied by fear, doubt, or simply doesn’t know how to take their writing to the next level.

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. Follow her adventures and find out about upcoming new releases at her blog, Writer Off the Leash, or stop by her website. You can also find her at the usual haunts of FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.