• One Minnesota Writer

52 Ways To Shift Your Focus: Create a Daily Ritual

Shift #35: Create a Daily Ritual to Honor Your Creativity

Writers, as I have noted here before, spend a lot of time alone. Time in front of the computer, researching, creating, proofreading, submitting. And sometimes, especially when the latest rejection hits the email inbox, it all feels futile. We feel misunderstood or worry our work is substandard. We fear we’re in the wrong field and we should have just been a mechanic or a cook or a nurse or something else that everyone needs. And, in that moment, there may be no one nearby to tell us to get a grip.

That’s exactly when we need to shift our thinking. We need to honor the creativity that pushed us into this insane business in the first place. Because, really, the world does need writers and artists, musicians and actors. We need that creative connection to reflect what happens in the world and light the spark beneath that which makes us human.

So, why not create a personal ritual that honors the creative work we do every day? This can be anything that says, “Yes, what I do is important.” Anything that reminds us, for just a few moments, to appreciate ourselves.

I have a few rituals of my own. I base them on things I love, things that make me feel cared for and make this space I work in something sacred to me. I love the smell of balsam; lighting a balsam-scented candle when I sit down to write in my journal at the beginning of my work day is one of my current rituals. In the summer, going outside in the early morning to listen to whatever sounds are there before I sit down to work is another ritual. There is something about bird chatter that clears my head in a way that human sounds cannot, especially if the crows are noisy. I change my rituals with the seasons. I might change them from week-to-week, depending on what I’m doing. Early morning photo shoots are a common ritual for me, especially when there is a full or near-full moon just setting, because this allows me to celebrate what I consider beautiful and inspiring.

Some might consider making their morning coffee a ritual. I have the coffee habit; I grind coffee beans and brew coffee every morning. But that’s something that simply honors the start of the day rather than a ritual that honors my creative work. Besides, I share that coffee with my husband. It’s one of our morning connections.

Here is what, for me, defines a ritual to honor my creativity:

1. It’s personal, not public 2. It’s intended to reach inside my head/heart 3. I do it alone, just as I write alone 4. The activity is short-lived at the beginning of the day 5. I make use of what is around me 6. The ritual is not the writing itself – it’s a separate thing

There are all kinds of ways to integrate personal ritual with the creative work/life balance. And there’s a lot of room to do whatever works, because no one else will ever know.

Go honor your work. Appreciate what you do. Make it matter.

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