I have just written 600 words, and it's 11.27 am. For me, that's huge! A good day. And I am thinking about ritual, because on my last day here at Anam Cara I realised that I sort of set up a ritual: breakfast, walk down to the river, sit for a while thinking about what I might write, or thinking about something else and waiting for it to come, it arriving, and going back to my room to write it - and writing it while also playing at least one game of online Scrabble (Wordscraper on Facebook) which helps me not get stuck. (I did this except the day it rained so heavily I couldn't see the garden at all.)
Sounds easy, no? It made me realise that I haven't had a ritual until now. Since we are moving countries in August and I don't know where we will be living, can I come up with one that isn't place-specific? What are your rituals? I'd love to hear what other people do.
And rules, do you have any? Apparently, Rick Moody has 14 of them, as he detailed in a recent interview in Night Train:
1. Omit Needless Words
2. Sacrifice Your Modifiers
3. Consider the Rhythm
4. Replace "To Be" and "To Have"
5. Simplify Tenses
6. Avoid Alliteration
7. Rethink Abstraction
8. Spill Your Parentheses
9. Use Figurative Language Sparingly
10. Engage All Five Senses
11. Cut the Last Sentence*
12. Read the Passage Aloud
13. Put the Draft Away
14. Do The Above Fifteen to Thirty TimesI don't quite understand number 4 - does it mean you can't say "I used to be..." or "I used to have.."? Or that you can't say "I am going..." or "I have done so much"...? Not sure what number 8 means either! read the full and great interview here.
Rituals? Rules? Tell us!