Friday, March 27, 2009

Rituals: the key to unlocking your creative mind

Happy weekend, all! The forecast for Atlanta this weekend is drizzling rain and cold--perfect weather to stay inside and write. If I go stir crazy, it's ideal weather to go to a local cafe and write there as I watch the rain droplets stick themselves to the window.

On to today's topic...I read an article recently about our subconscious mind. Seems it's quite an interesting part of our brain, and it's directly connected to our creative processes. This article specified that many times, rituals of any kind can help tell our minds that it's time to write (or begin any kind of task, really.)

So, what rituals? The article mentioned anything non-verbal. It could be lighting a scented candle, saying a silent prayer to the Muse, taking three deep breaths, whatever have you. The point is that our subconscious mind picks up on these ritual actions--if we do them consistently before we create--as a cue to begin work.

While I don't have any scientific proof of this, I can tell you that it works for me. And hey, whatever works to get the creativity going is a good thing! My desk is decorated with all kinds of magical, faery art, along with sketches of New Orleans and Savannah, along with anything to inspire me.

In the picture above, there's an intricate moon inside a glass circle which spins on its stand, a pewter fairy with an emerald stone in her outstretched hands, and a Celtic cross. My ritual before writing is to spin the moon on its stand, run my thumb over the stone the fairy is holding, kiss her wings, and then run my fingers over the smooth surface of the Celtic cross. I also keep some loose raspberry tea leaves in an azure blue pottery cup nearby, and I take a deep whiff of that mixture too, then sit down to write.

How did I come up with this? I don't know. But it's non-verbal, I do it in a certain order, and somehow it makes starting at the computer easier to do; easier to begin that writing task.

Try it sometime - it might work for you.
What are your rituals?


Willena said...

Churches (or any sort of spiritual practice) have rituals because it helps the worshipper connect to the holy, and writers can use use ritual to connect to the muse. Same thing...making a connection to the deep subconscience.

The Writers Canvas said...

Yep, I was thinking about that because the Catholic church uses candles and many rituals. Learned all about that when I "survived" Catholic school. (Now I can walk into a phonebooth and not feel the need to confess!)

Actually, I loved Catholic school. Yeah. Strange, I know.

Thanks for commenting - hope your writing continues to blossom :)