create a world you can create in

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Maya Angelou kept a small hotel room down the street from her "normal life" that she traveled to every morning to write. Inside she made sure to have a dictionary, a bible, a deck of cards, and a bottle of sherry.

Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up, hammering out words on a Royal typewriter placed chest high on top of a bookcase.

When Joan Didion was nearing the end of writing a book, she slept with it.

These writers knew the conditions that needed to be set, the parameters, the feng shui of their mind. 

They made it a priority to create a world around them that would support their ability to do their most important work. 

Carving out rituals for ourselves can be an extremely effective way to keep the train on the tracks and not get distracted from the work we came here to do.

These rituals will always be unique to you and sometimes maybe even a bit silly. 

For example, when I get stuck on a poem I put on red lipstick. It works. Red lipstick understands poetry.

I love music but when I need to focus and get a writing job done, I put in earplugs so that I can hear only my breath and nothing else. The job gets done.

Before a new project, I buy a bouquet of flowers and dedicate it to the work ahead. It's a small gesture and I am convinced it infuses my projects with beauty.

 

Whatever it is that you are working on, whatever it is that is trying desperately to come through your mind and heart and out into the world, give it a home to live in if you can. Give yourself a space to breathe your art through you. What do you need to create? Let it not be extravagant. That's a trap. The simpler the better. You have your hands at the end of your arms. Move them. That's a start.