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Written by William Ballard, Professional Writer and Author
Writers and content producers are always looking for a fresh perspective, and sometimes subjects completely unrelated to a niche can send you down a rabbit hole of creative thought.
Ichiro has an interesting warm up procedure before each baseball game.
I know that at first glance it may seem weird that I am bringing up this baseball player when writing about a topic on weird rituals of productive writers, but believe me, there is a connection.
Before each game, Ichiro breaks in his 8 hand-crafted bats made of a very special wood imported from Hokkaido, Japan. The bats are always the same exact weight and length (33.46 inches, 31.75 ounces).
However, the strangest part about Ichiro’s pre-game ritual is that he keeps them in a dehumidifier, a special case that he takes with him to every game that ensures the bats have a perfect “feel”.
He cares for his tools as if they were priceless antiques, and many of his teammates do not.
However, they are starting to wonder if it does not give him some kind of professional advantage.
How rituals bring productivity to your writing
The rituals of successful athletes are not unlike those of very productive writers.
Both use pre-game rituals and training techniques, some stranger than others, to help them get into a mental state that makes them perform at their peak.
If you read my blogs regularly, you know that I dive into the classics and modern techniques of successful writers to help online publishers find a solid technique for their own daily battle with the page.
Your routine does not have to be orthodox, just regular
When Ichiro came to America to play Major League Baseball, many said he was too small and weak to weather a 162 game schedule. They thought he would crack under the pressure.
However, what they did not know was that he had endured very unorthodox strength training rituals in Japan like tossing car tires and hitting a Wiffle ball with a heavy shovel.
He proved them wrong in his debut by becoming the first player since Jackie Robinson in 1949 to lead the league in both batting average and stolen bases. He was the second player in history to win both the ALMVP and Rookie of the Year Awards.
How to Prep Your Writing Desk for Increased Productivity
Legendary copywriter John Carlton calls that time before you actually sit down to write a word, “prepping the desk.”
Whether it is gathering your research, poring over the facts, or “incubating” your ideas before you get in the batter’s box, having some kind of ritual or discipline can be extremely helpful to get you into the proper mindset to be a highly productive writer.
When Ichiro sweats out his bats, he is prepping his desk.
And some very successful writers have also had some pretty strange rituals to set them up for success.
7 strange habits of very successful writers
What is your ritual?
Remember, no ritual should ever take the place of actually getting words on the page. However, they can help you shift your mindset just enough to see things in a fresh way.
In the immortal words of novelist and screenwriter Raymond Chandler:
“Technique alone is never enough. You have to have passion. Technique alone is just an embroidered potholder.”
What is my ritual?
Since you asked, I brew some fresh coffee, listen to some motivational speaking (on CD, Youtube, etc.), grab a working pen, my journal, and start a fresh page on my computer.
It is not weird … unless you consider that I do it all in a sealed, hyperbaric chamber, which I do not. Or do I?