By Paty Jager
Thonie, thank you for having me on your blog! And I love the theme Writing Rituals.
It’s interesting how over the years my “rituals” have changed. When I first started writing, I would always check my emails and respond as the first “warm up” of the day. I felt the typing of the emails warmed up my fingers and my mind.
Then I went through a phase where I ignored emails and the internet to make sure I wrote my word quota for the day. One of the things I have always done and still do is reread the previous day’s work. I open up the document and go back a chapter or two and reread, fixing typos, adding description, or rewording sentences. It not only gets me back into the story and the character’s point of view, it also makes my first draft clean enough to send to my critique partners.
The other thing I have made a ritual and helps me to drift into the story quicker, is using music. I make a playlist of songs for each project. I use instrumental music, or in the case of my Native American books, I listen to Native American drum and flute music as well as lyrics because I can’t understand the lyrics, so it doesn’t interfere with the words in my head. 😉 For the historical western books, I listen to themes from western movies. My Shandra Higheagle Mysteries, I listen to Native American music and Jazz. For the contemporary western romance, I listen to instrumental country music. I’m like Pavlov’s dogs with the music. As soon as I hear the songs, my mind goes to the characters and pulls me into the stories.
The other thing I cannot write without is DOVE dark chocolate! I don’t eat it all day long. If I did that, I wouldn’t fit through the door. But two squares are my mid-day pick-me-up. All day as I write, I drink honey, lemon, ginseng green tea. Hot in the winter and cold in the summer.
I’m not sure how much of these rituals help my writing, but I think they are the devices I need to get my word count every day and keep coming up with interesting character’s in unique situations.
Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 32+ novels, a dozen novellas, and a passel of short stories of murder mystery, western romance, and action adventure. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. This is what Mysteries Etc says about her Shandra Higheagle mystery series: “Mystery, romance, small town, and Native American heritage combine to make a compelling read.” blog / website / Facebook / Paty’s Posse / Goodreads / Twitter / Pinterest