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Back when I was a practicing Wiccan (it didn’t stick, I really sucked at being a witch. I really suck at being anything with a set practice of rituals) I read in a book on Wiccan rituals that the circle started well before calling the corners and lighting the candles. It started when you got into the mind set. It started in the preparations. And it’s the same way for NaNo. Wrimos love November because they finally get to start writing, but I love October. I love the preparation and the anticipation. I love getting in the mind set of writing like a maniac.
One of my Wiccan friends told me that she uses a certain CD to get in the mind set for a ritual. Her ritual starts when she turns on the CD and begins to prepare for the circle. And her brain is now hard-wired to get into that mind set whenever she hears those songs, even if it’s the middle of a random Tuesday. So I tried that, and it worked. To this day when I hear the Prologue to “The Book of Secrets”, by Loreena McKennit, I am immediately put in the frame of mind of the ritual. And I can do the same for my writing. “The Mystic’s Dream” or “All Souls Night” (also Loreena McKennit) puts me right into Fie Eoin, wherever I am. Most of Loreena’s songs put me in Fie Eoin. Mat Kearney conjures up Apollo and his crew. “Come Alive” by the Foo Fighters makes me think of Holly and the Manticore, or Karigan and Bar depending on my mood. Many Dave Matthews songs make me think of Rebecca and Lane. And “What I Wouldn’t Do” by A Fine Frenzy or “St Stephen’s Cross” by Vienna Teng makes me think of Neona and Book of Souls.
It’s a convenient little trick, using music to put you in the right frame of mind. When I want to work on Fie Eoin – no matter what I’m doing – I can turn on the playlist and I’m there, ready to listen to Kindra and Kaye. And when I’m planning Book of Souls this month and writing it next month I’ll play A Fine Frenzy, Vienna Teng, and the Avatar soundtrack (I happened to be storylining BoS when I first listened to the soundtrack, so instead of reminding me of the movie it now puts me straight into Neona’s world. Unfortunately the CD doesn’t work in my car or on my work computer :/).
What about you? Do you have any rituals to prepare and get yourself in the writing mind frame? Are there any albums or songs that remind you of your characters and your worlds?
Don’t forget to visit the other Wrimos in the blogchain and find out how they prepare for NaNoWriMo!