Writing Rituals

BBC News: ‘ Writuals’ – scribes reveal daily routines.

Virginia Woolf, George Bernard Shaw and Roald Dahl did it in sheds at the bottom of the garden. Shaw’s desk was famously on castors, so he could turn it throughout the day to get maximum light. Dahl even had one of his own hip bones sitting on the desk. Every writer will have their own ritual. Kerry McKittrick examines the modus operandi of some of Ireland’s favourite writers and asks: What are your Writuals?

The article looks at six authors (Bernard MacLaverty, Maeve Binchy, Tim McGarry, Damon Quinn, Dan Gordon, and Colin Bateman), asking how and where they write, what’s on their desks, and what distracts them. Most of them write in the morning. Damon Quinn says "The most significant thing about writers is that writers hate to write, so we’ll find any excuse not to write. Best thing you can give a writer is a deadline." I can relate to that.

Away from the monster deadline of NaNoWriMo, I’ve been doing some short story writing for our post-NaNo group. We’re writing stories all set in the same world, and we can borrow each other’s characters. I need to do some last tweaks on my first story and submit it somewhere, which is a scary prospect. The second story is still germinating, I have one great character and she needs a suitable crisis.

I write on my Mac laptop, on the sofa in a silent house, with a sleeping cat next to me. Tangle will demand to sit on my lap, climbing up my front and barging the laptop out of the way so he can be cuddled, but Quantum is usually content to lie next to you. Not always, and a 15 pound cat can be quite determined, but usually.