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Writing Rituals, Totems and Talismans

A Ritual is a detailed method or procedure faithfully or regularly followed; It is also a state or condition characterized by the presence of established procedure or routine.

A writing ritual, then, is a procedure or behavior regularly followed that creates a state or condition for writing.

What is your writing ritual?

In Native American culture, a totem is used to summon spirits. Often they are symbols or representations of a spirit guide. In Himalayn culture, certain kinds of beaded jewelry is used for totemistic purposes.

For writing purposes, that spirit is your Muse. A writing totem is a symbol of your creativity, your inspiration, your reason for writing. It is something that motivates you to write.

What are your writing totems?

A talisman is regarded as a repository for magical energy, like a battery. A writing talisman holds inspiration which is a type of 'magical' energy. A talisman could be something general, like a white crystal, which is believed by some to enhance communication. Or it could be something specific to the project you're currently working on, such as an item that belongs in your story.

What are some of your talismans?

A Craft Project for Writers

Make your own Writing Beads

Similar to prayer beads, writing beads can be a symbol of your commitment to writing, a call to your Muse for inspiration, and a signal to your subconscious that it's time to start writing.

You can use most any printed material. Magazines or old paperback books you might otherwise throw out. Purchase a favorite book at a used book store or, for added meaning, use a few pages of your current (or previous) MS.

First, cut off the margins of your selected paper.
Next, make marks 1" apart along one side (doesn't matter if it's the short or the long edge). On the opposite side, measure 1/2" from one edge, then make the rest of the marks 1" apart. Connect the marks in a zig-zag across the page, creating long, narrow triangles.

Starting from the base, tightly roll each triangle around a toothpick with the type to the outside, keeping the point as centered as possible. Put a dab of white glue toward the last 1/2" and smooth the tip down. Slide the 'bead' off the toothpick and let dry.

Once you have as many beads as you want, slide them onto a string or beading wire, and finish it off. Hang from a hook or nail or similar, and spray with several light coats of clear acrylic spray.

Let them dry, then add a talisman or totem or just some fun beads. In the picture below, I used a miniature glass bottle with a cork. I wrote out my commitment to writing, rolled it up, and put it inside. I used an silver 1" eye pin (check the jewelry making section of your local craft store), poked it thru the center of the cork and bent it so it would fit inside the bottle.

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