Wake Me Up Now November's Here!
by Jaye Raymee
I’m so excited! November is finally here and Autumn is in full swing!! With the shortening days and cooler nights, I start to feel like my creative spirit starts to come alive at this time of year. Maybe it’s the cinnamon and spice wafting from hot cider at the next table, or maybe it’s the idea of a cozy fire in a pub warming my fingers as they move over the pages, but whatever it is, my ideas start to bubble around like apples bobbing in a Fall Carnival game.
This time of year is full of ritual. The acts of putting the Summer garden to sleep until next year, pulling out the heavier comforter for the bed, and even digging out the dog-walking coat that I put away last spring all have a well-travelled feeling that roots me in the changing of the year and the progress of the seasons. Along with all that, I’ll also be making sure I have all my favorite writing tools always nearby for writerly evenings in that cozy pub.
Some people talk about their writing process. I like to think more about writing “rituals” because “process” often feels clinical and sterile. To me, process is something you write down on a flow chart, while ritual is something that connects me to the divine voices that are ideas and stories, ready to flow out of my pen as soon as I sit down and let them.
And rituals have tools. While I’m perfectly happy to grab the nearest Sharpie and tear a piece of cardboard off a box to get something written in the spur of the moment (and I have!), when I have a choice I use very distinct writing implements. I write my first drafts long-hand, using a pen with .7mm tip. And the paper? Whatever is in an A5 sized notebook that I haven’t filled yet. I love that size because I feel like I’m making progress with filling pages, and I know that one sheet of writing (both sides of course) in a first draft ends up being about one typed page. I can also find A5 notebooks in just about any country in the world, so my quirks can be accommodated from San Francisco to Tunisia.
This is how I've written the first drafts of nearly every piece I’ve had published and all of the NaNoWriMo novels I’ve finished. The one notable exception was a short work drafted on one of those little free notepads they put at your seat at hotel meetings-but that’s literally a whole ‘nother story.
The rest of my writing rituals are simple: typing up the second draft, then carefully sealing up the original in some kind of envelope with the title and the date across the flap. This isn’t about copyright, as some suspect. It’s just because...well...ritual. When I tuck that envelope into my “completed stories” file drawer, I have a deep sense of completion and contentment. I’m anchored in my creativity and ready for the next idea that’s clamoring for attention.
Just like Fall is full of comforting traditions, my writing is full of ritual and practical repetition that let my ideas flow and keeps me channeling all the wonderful stories that I’m blessed to have flying through my brain. And now that November is here, those ideas demand some new pens, a fresh notebook, and a fireside seat in cozy cafe. How about you? What are your writerly rituals (or processes, I’m not picky). Please share in the comments!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
You get a peek at Jaye's Notebook at or follow the Twitter feed @JayErotica.