Sips with Sophie: Writing Rituals

“Bring me the sunset in a cup.” 
― Emily Dickinson

As I pore over the pages of my planner and schedule my writing hours, those hours change on different days.

Either I write in the morning or after lunch. Nevertheless, I have a ritual that I’ve established.

Writing MUST involve tea drinking.

Every morning when my husband and I get up, we start the day with one cup of coffee. I set the coffeemaker the night before so that pleasant aroma stirs us from slumber.

But after that first cup of java, I switch to tea.

Regardless of the flavor tea I’m drinking, having that cuppa besides me for writing inspiration is soothing and kicks me into mental gear.

Another ritual I include on occasion is enlisting the aid of smells to stimulate my writing. I have often found that for me, scents are quite nostalgic. They also help plant me in the scene I’m writing.

Either I will light scented candles or just open the lid to release the fragrance. My favorite scents are lavender and lilac. Seasonal favorites are pumpkin spice, apple cinnamon, balsam and peppermint.

Some writers listen to music. I prefer the sounds of nature or blissful quiet. During warmer months, I take my writing out on our back deck so I can hear birds chirping in the trees, cows mooing in the distance at nearby farms and yes, even the whir of passing cars. During the Christmas season, I draw inspiration from classical Christmas songs.

My office is the brightest room in the house and my desk looks out onto the street. It is also the warmest room in the house in colder seasons as we are now. At the start of the new year, I cleaned and reorganized my office so that my mind is clear when I write. Occasionally, I will sit at our kitchen island for a change of pace.

But that mug of tea is right by my side no matter where I write!

Do you have a favorite ritual when you sit down to write? Does it involve the five senses? Can you write anywhere or do you keep a special place for weaving your words?


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