I have my parents to thank for this. When I was a baby, if I cried for no reason my mother could find, she turned up the stereo and let me cry until I got tired and fell asleep. When we went camping, while my older brother was still traveling with us, I slept in the cab of the truck, where the music blared from door speakers until the wee hours. My parents and their friends continued drinking and talking loudly. Falling asleep was my only option.
I can’t abide silence. I lived in a small town here in Mexico for a time, where I had a bakery. I shared a small house with my partner, both of us in one room. He had to learn to sleep with the TV on. I compromised and left the volume low.
I’ve always been energetic, antsy, nervous. I’ve always got several things going at once. My friends always remark that I can’t sit still for a visit. I get up to check something on the computer. I need a glass of water. Oh, you have to see this…now where did I put it?
I can’t abide immobility. I had hip surgery a few years ago, and couldn’t get out of bed except to go to the bathroom, and I was out of my mind after a few days. I have stood up for various reasons three times while writing this.
The question often comes up: What is your writing ritual? I’ve seen many respond that they need to be in a quiet space, no distractions, maybe even a Do Not Disturb sign on the door (or an understanding with family/housemates.) I have no such illusions. First, we are three living in close quarters here, and while writing this I’ve been drawn into conversation four times so far, even though I’ve got my headphones on. (Five times now. One moment, please.)
So, my writing ritual: Open Word document, something to drink (beer, water, juice, coffee), perhaps a snack. Washing machine running on the patio, dinner in various stages of preparation in the kitchen, music emanating from my computer (mostly Joni Mitchell for the past month or so.) I hop, skip, jump between the three for the next few hours.
My question: What are your rituals? What do you need to do the things you love to do, be it writing, reading, watching a movie, preparing for the day?