Hey, all, Gerry Boyle here. And I’m here today to tell you that that I couldn’t have written a single line, a single chapter, a single book without one thing.
Red Rose has been the key ingredient in my writing process since word one. I buy it by the case. I have drawers of the little porcelain figurines that come in each box. I don’t recall a single writing session that has taken place without a mug of tea beside the legal pad, computer, laptop. The tea comes first. Then the writing can begin.
I can’t prove that the tea itself—the caffeine, the leaves from India and Ceylon—is fueling the writing process. But I know that it’s a required part of the ritual that accompanies the writing process.
Put the kettle on. Make a pot of tea. Bring the pot up to the study and close the door. Open the chapter, the page, the notes. Stare for a minute. Think a bit more. Take the first sip.
We have our writing rituals, the preparations that are carefully undertaken before the actual act of creation begins. I suppose it’s a way of separating the world of the book from the rest of life. Or a way of getting mentally ready for the writing part, which is very different from the the other things writers do. Maybe there are some writers who can dash off a great paragraph on a napkin, or write a chapter in the office between meetings. I’ve never been one of those writers.
I need a warm up, a ritual, like a baseball player eating the same pre-game meal, a musician meditating before going on stage. I don’t need to mediate; I do need my mug of Red Rose tea.
When I finished my last book I’d had knee surgery after an accident. I was stuck on the first floor of the house, unable to get to the study for weeks. I sat in a chair in a downstairs room, my reconstructed leg stretched out in front of me. A machine pumped ice water around my knee. I pumped Red Rose tea into the rest of me. I could probably write in a hotel room, but I’d need room service to bring me my Red Rose tea.
I’m on the road this week but I hope to get some writing done. My bag is packed –with a box of Red Rose tea.
So if you’re a writer, what are your rituals? Superstitions? Have you read of other writers’ rituals? What are some of the things that we do that make writing possible?