Content writing is a creative art and a way of expressing knowledge and deeply seated feelings on a subject matter, some of which come out of troubled souls. This post explores rituals and routines that disciplined content writers have admitted to following for developing content on regular basis. Some are extraordinary, and you won’t have predicted them either but which you have wanted to try.
Writers come and go but only those who are disciplined enjoy the novelty. Their publications too remain the world’s bestsellers for generations to come. For an aspiring writer, being feted as the best who ever ruled pen and paper may seem impossible, but for someone who has filled white space with words that reigned in the minds of millions, writing is not only an art but also an inspiration whose timing is perfect.
It comes with rituals to which bestselling authors like Stephen King ascribe. For modern-day content writers, topic ideas from written papers can move you from a novice to an expert.
The question is: do you need writing rituals and routines to win a Pulitzer? Well, something that worked for H. Lloyd Goodall may not auger well with John Gardener’s, but you can always strike equilibrium.
It takes more than a dream
There are millions of aspiring writers. Some harbour talents that catapult their dreams to the top of the world while for others, training in higher learning institutions make them actualize inert writing abilities. However, reaching the epitome of writing excellence without paying close attention to what makes a disciplined writer can be elusive.
As John Gardner puts it in a book titled, ‘Becoming a Novelist,’ it is important to write in a way that works for you. Whether it is in a cave deep inside the woods, in the shower with a raincoat or a tuxedo, he says, writers ought to adopt habits/rituals that define their personality and those which keep them going.
Another author, according to a publication in ThoughtCo, says, even at the workplace, employees must stick to certain routines without which they would gradually develop quirky habits. So, are looking forward to cultivating rituals that will transform you into an embodiment of a great author? Well, keep reading to find out.
On habits and routines
Now onto the working habits and routines of disciplined content writers, they include but not limited to the following:
- Routine: Early birds and night owls
Every successful writer will tell you that timing is everything. It could be a few hours in the wee hours of the night or before a cock crows in the morning that is when creative juices flow and inspiration peaks. It begins with finding where you fit. Are you a night owl or a morning bird? With this taken care of, the next question, what’s your most creative hour?
Most successful people admit to waking up very early in the morning, and so with this at the back of her mind, the founder of Brainpickings.org, Maria Popova wanted to find out if early bird content writers too would say the same in comparison to those who write late into the night. Her findings were not only interesting but also mesmerizing.
And even though most authors, who have won awards according to Maria’s infographics, are morning people, there are exceptions. Writers like Samuel Johnson, Gorge Sand and Samuel Johnson have admitted to being night owls and with many publications to their names.
She concludes that while each of the authors in her findings developed a wake-up or go-to-bed time, they all made it a habit. Consistency is the habit that makes routines of writers valuable because by deciding you will be waking up every day at 3.a.m, the aim is to realize as much productivity as possible.
- Ritual: Word count ritual
Many decades ago, counting the number of words an author would have put down on paper at the end of the day was hectic, but, some did it anyway. With the advent of desktop publishing, borrowing a leaf from some of the most successful content writers whose ritual is to write say, three-thousand words a day is now a reality.
In fact, it is a ritual that has worked for most. It is a measure of productivity and by which achieving set writing goals to become easy.
Moreover, a daily-word-count ritual may revolve around a deadline imposed by a publisher or yourself, and it works for all types of writing such as essays, novels and blogs. A good example here is Michael Crichton, the writer of Jurassic Park. His says his word count was ten-thousand, which even though is a lot, he admits to having applied the same ritual in many of his publications.
However, such a huge target may not be feasible for many content writers. Graham Greene and Hemmingway (early bird writer) did paltry five-hundred words for five days every week. Other authors like J.G. Ballard and W. Somerset Maugham capped their daily target with a thousand words. In all these, it is about blending self-discipline with a ritual by which you want to stick through thick and thin.
- Weird rituals and routines
If timing or word count doesn’t work for you, there are options. Many other authors have admitted to harbouring stranger than fiction rituals. ‘Superstitious routines’ pushed them to the epitome of success. It was established through his wife that Schiller, a Romantic Era playwright and Poet wrote best with the smell of rotten eggs. For him, that was a source of inspiration and creative flow.
Writers like Balzac and Voltaire believed that inspiration would only come from the bottom of a coffee cup after gulping up fifty and forty cups respectively, every day. However, for Maya Angelou, her ritual or routine had nothing to do with food, drinks, word count or time. She admitted having rented hotels in every city and town, places she visited and where inspiration would fall from the skies.
With the Holy Bible, pen, legal pad and a bottle of Sherry, Maya poured her soul onto paper (about realities she wants coming to terms with), and with that, her success story as a disciplined content writers has stood the test of time. Victor Hugo’s ritual restricted him indoor, where he partook in a ritual that puzzled many. He loved writing while naked after locking clothes away from the vicinity.
The bottom line for Content Writers
Writing rituals and routines vary. For some it the sound of a hooting owl that brings out the words. For others, writing in bed is the magic wand that unleashes the soul’s desire, a ritual they would never let go. And even with physics homework help, some writers create words in the zoo. The very presence of animals inspires them to the bone marrow. The choice is yours!