Creative Ritual

Today’s Slice of Life at TwoWritingTeachers.org

I am the queen of NOT having rituals that help me get into a creative mindset. In the mornings I wake up early or late. I exercise or not. I eat first or I shower first. I have few if any steady rituals for life, much less for creative time and space.

I’ve been trying half-heartedly for the couple of weeks since Suleika Jaouad’s The Isolation Journals Prompt #113 by Naomi Ayala. It was about coming up with a short pre-writing “creative” ritual–something to get myself in a creative space. It might have to do with a sight, a sound, a movement. It might be going outdoors or holding a yoga pose, etc.

These past failed two weeks have encouraged me to try again. I think it will have something to do with enjoying a cup of tea. I’ll keep working on it!

I wrote a couple of poems last April trying to articulate my writing process, (or lack thereof). Now I’m thinking maybe a prewriting ritual could help me focus…

A Limerick of My Writing Journey
Wield a half-millimeter black rollerball
Indite in my journal, whatever befall
Mind focused on prompt
Diversions I’ll stomp
And tomorrow I’ll work on an overhaul

A List Poem About Why That Limerick is a Lie
While writing it, I…
…answered a teacher query about post-Eid assessment changes
…recorded four Flipgrid video responses
…initiated family trivia night
…answered six What’sApp texts
…and two phone calls
…warmed up and ate leftover machboos
…browsed The Washington Post
…watched my husband play a video game
…worked on my genius hour presentation

time…none like the present
8:00 a.m., noon, 3:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m., midnight, 3:00 a.m.

tools…any or all
my rollerball is probably lost,
so grab a pencil or a conference freebie ballpoint or my computer

topics…prompts and non-prompts
letters, emails, recipes, students’ feedback,
texts, poems, blog posts, lesson plans

In reality, I cannot articulate my writing process.

What about you? Do you have a prewriting creative ritual you follow?

6 thoughts on “Creative Ritual


  1. I don’t know that I believe in creative rituals, but I do believe in setting aside a specific time for creativity, something I have not done lately, except for Tuesday blogging and the monthly poetry challenge. I also believe in “listening to” inspiration and seizing it in the moment. I’m better at this. The one thing that does inspire me is reading poetry and literary fiction, so maybe reading something creative IS my ritual. That too has suffered this year. I think sometimes we try to pigeonhole ourselves into someone else’s habits, thinking ours must be wrong. That can definitely kill creativity.


    1. Thank you, Glenda! I like the “listening to” inspiration. I do that too. I need to listen to my own habits, too, instead of trying to be someone I’m not. You have given me a good reminder today!


    1. Stacey, thank you. I like that idea! Or at least consuming something nourishing as Glenda suggests she does. I will definitely take a listen! Thank you!


  2. I chuckled when I read your “behind the scenes.” I have understood that there is no one right writing process. You do what works for you.

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