Today, we have a guest post from the wonderful Tasha L. Harrison — romance and erotica author, freelance editor, and creative entrepreneur. I love seeing posts about her writing ritual(s) and love of all things woo on my social media, and I had to invite her to share her process with you all. I hope you enjoy and are inspired by her as much as I am!
Recently I sat down to journal about my writing journey, and I realized that I’ve been at this writing thing for a decade. That seems almost unbelievable because I still feel like such a newb. I also feel like I learn something new about writing or the business of writing every day. Lately, that learning has shifted from the mechanics of storytelling to uncovering my process. Uncovering my process involved a lot of naval-gazing — which I will keep in my journals — but I do what to share the writing ritual that was born from it.
Ritual definition: A religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed in a prescribed order.
If you ask ten writers about their ritual or the series of actions they execute before they make the words, you’re likely to get ten different answers. Those answers will probably seem pointless and nonsensical to the casual observer. I mean, a three-mile walk with your dog before the world wakes up has what to do with your writing? However, the one thing that is evident is that rituals are an integral part of the writer’s creative process. My personal writing ritual incorporates meditation, crystals, and affirmations, and it goes a little something like this:
1. Clear my writing space of all clutter and gather my writing ritual tools.
Virginia Woolf famously said that “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she wants to write fiction.” I am fortunate enough to have such a room. However, I know plenty of writers who prefer to write from their kitchen table! More than anything else, this step encourages me to remove all distractions from my writing space and gather everything I need to complete my task. I write longhand, so a good pen, my writing notebook, my process journal, and my laptop join the crystals, candles, and sage on my desk.
2. Set your intentions for the writing session and light your candle.
More often than not, I know exactly what I plan to write before I sit down at my desk. At this point in the ritual, I like to grab a piece of clear quartz, light a candle, and journal about what I need to write. What plot point do I need to illustrate? Who is in this scene? What emotions do I need to convey? Clear quartz is perfect for this step in the ritual because it provides clarity to my sometimes jumbled thoughts and helps me envision the end result! My favorite candle is Autumn from Almanac Supply Co. It has citrus notes that stimulate creativity.
3. Light the white sage with your candle. Blow on the sage until you’re left with smoldering embers, wave the smoke around your writing area, and over your tools to cleanse any negative energy.
Writing is hard work, and sometimes, no matter how hard I try, negative thoughts and feelings about the process, the business of writing, or my own fears about my abilities creep in. White sage, used by Natives in traditional healing and ceremonies, cleanses and purifies while opening you up to experience a greater connection with the sacred. Cleansing my space and my writing tools removes old, negative energies and leaves it ready to receive fresh intentions.
4. Holding one or all of your stones, fill the now neutralized space with all the clarity, inspiration, and creativity vibes you need to fuel your writing session.
My go-to crystals are carnelian, sodalite, and the aforementioned clear quarts. I’ve already told you how I use clear quartz, and it reappears to fulfill the same purpose while I’m in the act of writing. Carnelian is probably my most beloved crystal. It’s in the quartz family. It is especially useful for enhancing the lusty desires of the body and adding playfulness to your creative consciousness. It’s also a powerful ally when you need to take action and overcome the fear of doing it wrong. As a romance and erotica author, this crystal is invaluable. Sodalite enhances your powers of analysis, intuition observation, and creativity. If you’re writing from your “zone of genius” this stone is great for that. If you need help with self-discipline, efficiency, organization, or structure in your writing process, this crystal is for you, too. With these stones in my hands or set atop my writing materials, I take 10-15 minutes to meditate on my project for that session. Here’s a great affirmation to use during that meditation.
Affirmation: I believe in my ability to create clear and elegant prose. I am open to receive creativity and allow it to flow through me and onto the page.
My writing ritual has provided structure, stability, and significance to my writing practice. And most importantly, it has serves as a sort of switch or trigger to let my brain know that it’s time to get to work!
If you would like to adopt my simple writing style, you can grab The Writer’s Ritual Kit from Almanac Supply Co. I also write about crystals and rituals over there so feel free to check out my articles in The Journal!