I’ve been living in Boston, off and on, since January — and since then, little rituals have evolved. One of them exists only in the summer, on Saturdays, and involves the spectacular barbecue at Formaggio’s — located near Harvard Square. The guys don’t start serving until around 11 am, but the line gets long by 10:45. And since we take food very seriously, we usually arrive well before that to stake out our spot.
The best part, though, is the friends who show up to join us. That’s the beauty of our weekly “thing” — the great people who meet us at Formaggio’s on Saturday mornings. We grab tables, chairs, and chow down on heaps of meat, beans, slaw, and grilled peaches. We might only be there thirty minutes or so, but it’s an anchor that sets the tone for the rest of the weekend.
Setting the right tone is super-important when it comes to writing — and I don’t just mean the tone of the story you’re telling, but instead the actual writing: how you go about your work, the little rituals, the comforts you give yourself before performing the mental exercise of sitting down with paper or computer to compose your words. Finding the right spell for yourself is a constant exercise in evolution. Maybe that cup of tea in the morning, that certain bit of music, is what settles you. Or a walk. A shower. Driving to an office. Getting up at four in the morning — or going to bed at four. These are the rituals that make us comfortable in our professional lives (comforts that bleed into the personal, as well) and we cling to them until they stop working. If they stop working.
Right now I’m sitting on a comfortable couch with headphones on, listening to my mix of 80′s power ballads. I’m wearing pajamas. I’ve got a tall glass of water beside me, and a small bowl of grapes, and I’m ready to hit it.
What are your comforts that help you get through the work day? Your rituals?