A writing ritual is key to warming up …
Think about it. Before someone engages in any activity they need to get warmed up.
Before a runner sets out on a race they stretch and warm up their legs. Before a tennis match the players hit the ball back and forth for a few minutes. Before a hockey game everyone skates around and snaps a few shots at the goalie.
And it’s not just in these obvious examples of physical activity. Getting warmed up applies to intellectual and artistic activities too.
Chess players play a quick blitz game or do some puzzles before a tournament game. Painters do a few practice strokes on some scrap paper before they go to the canvas. Singers do scales and musicians do a soundcheck and sculptors steady their hands.
There is no skilled activity in which those taking part don’t warm up.
For some inexplicable reason, writers tend to just plonk down in front of the page or the screen and start writing. If you think about it for even a split-second, it’s clearly absurd. Why would writers not get warmed up like in every other skilled activity?
Frankly, we don’t have a good answer to this question. Perhaps it’s because there’s a specific culture of writing bound up with a romantic caricature of how a writer should act. Perhaps writers don’t see writing as a skilled activity but more as channeling some transcendental muse. We don’t know.
But what we do know is that not warming up causes lots of problems.
Writers wonder why they sit in front of the blank page and have writer’s block. They wonder why the tone and style of their writing shifts erratically throughout a manuscript. They wonder why their best writing comes in spurts and why they can’t bring a project to fruition.
Now, it’s not to say that warming up before writing is going to instantly solve all those problems. But it can definitely help with all those things and it definitely can’t hurt.
Spending even five minutes doing a warm-up as part of a writing ritual can make you a more consistent writer, can get you in the groove for the tone and style of the work in progress, and gets the writing engines going for a productive block of work.
We’ve taken it as part of our mission to help writers with getting warmed up and stretching their writing muscles.
That’s why we created our Creative Cross-Training course.
It’s about forming productive writing habits and contains quick, five-minute activities that are perfect as a warm-up. It even comes with a free copy of our book, Expressive Subjects, which contains quick prompts for writers that encourage purposeful, creative engagement to spur creativity.
Check those out as a way to warm up at the start of your writing sprint!
Do you have a writing ritual? How do you get warmed up and ready for creative output?
Let us know in the comments!
You got this,
Jon + Erika
Creative Cross-Training for Writers: Start a writing habit in 21 days and unlock your creativity by writing in different short forms. Gain traction on your bigger writing project by practicing our ‘creative cross-training’ method. Check out our course!
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Create your writing ritual as a way to ease into a regular writing routine.