Completion Ritual

It is a major accomplishment to finish an article or story, not to mention a full-length novel. It doesn’t happen every day! Whatever your specialty as a writer, you owe yourself more than a mere pat on the back. You have worked hard and probably gone through a few dry spells.  Hopefully, the critical accolades will come later. For the moment, it is time to bring out the beer or whatever pleases your palette. For some it is a hamburger and fries, for others a steak and baked potato dinner. A friend who is a published author treats herself to chocolate cake or a hot fudged sundae depending upon the time of year. We all have our completion rituals. Whatever you do, it is a time of celebration for sure. It is a tough job to finish a creative work that springs mostly from your imagination. Then it takes writing skill to make these ideas come to life. Yes, we all do research and get inspiration from a variety of sources; but it is the stimulated brain that puts it all together.

I mentioned the celebratory beer and I must tell you that I have lots of it in my handy beer fridge. I keep it nearby in my home office. It isn’t huge, but it contains enough for a spell of creative output. It is something I enjoy even by myself although I have been known to invite writing friends over to join in the fun. Some of these people have previewed the work while others get their chance during the rejoicing. You have to love beer as much as I do to get invited to the party. I bought the best beer fridge I could afford some time ago when home brewing was just starting to get popular. I got the best one I could find in the size that would fit under the side panel of my desk. You see, I can just reach right over. I don’t usually drink while working as it makes me too relaxed; but if I finish a chapter, for example, it is time to indulge for a short while. Then it is back to the computer with my full attention.

One friend who writes poetry takes the celebratory ritual as an opportunity to do a private reading. This is special and I prefer not to recite my prose. I will discuss my work, however, at any time. I will divulge my best resources because they are always changing. It makes my writing more appealing to readers. I have been reading a lot of novels these days by foreign writers so I have a rather long list to share some day. Their vision is so unique and gives me an entirely new perspective. Even in translation, I can appreciate the novelty of various writing styles. If you want something new to enhance your normal sources of inspiration, I highly recommend taking a look at Japanese, Indian, French and South American authors. It will be a real eye opener for you.