Writing Rituals To Try When You Can’t Get Started

Have you ever wanted to sit down and write, but your focus was shot and you just kept dithering instead?

One shortcut many writers have found that works for them is the use of writing rituals. Nearly all of us have them, but sometimes what we’ve been doing stops working or we think we’ve moved past them, and need to revisit them.

How To Save a Fizzled First Draft

Last year, I ‘won’ NaNoWriMo, but my story had veered off course. I tried to push through to an ending, but by the end of March, it was so far off from where I wanted it to be, I knew I was fighting a losing battle.

Now, not all stories that go off course are wrong. Sometimes the story takes the lead and brings you to better things than you ever expected.

But, for me? This wasn’t the story I wanted to tell.

So, I set it aside, polished some rough drafted short stories, beta-read for some friends, and read a lot of books. I gave my story breathing room to percolate in my head and I waited til now to pull this technique out of my toolbox.

Loglines versus Queries

After a resounding round of form rejections, I took a step back, revamped my query and synopsis, and am now getting back into the query trenches.

You’d think I know querying forward and backward — and I do, when I stop to think about it. But, recently, one of the query submission forms asked for a one-sentence pitch — a logline — I almost flubbed it!