I don't know what it is about publishing a book, but every single time I do, some crisis descends, and the rituals, schedules, and discipline that got the book done and published get blown to hell. I have to reinvent my process all over again, accommodating whatever crisis has arisen this time. Can I have a ritual I'd *like* to leave behind? I nominate this one.
Usually rituals are lovely things designed to signal our brains that we're shifting out of our everyday world and into something other. I'm all for them. My office, when I had one, was filled with ritual items. Seriously. There's an altar in the southern window. A waterfall fountain. A salt lamp. Something to bring every element into my work space. Also - cat beds. Let's be realistic. I have long been expected to write whilst holding cat. That's more an imperative than a ritual. Book one was written in this office.
I miss having a dedicated desk and office chair. That much is true. I miss all of the accoutrement that went with the great luxury of space. What I do NOT miss is the heating bill that went with this particular space and the fact that it was hell and gone from everywhere ever. So rituals of all kinds have fallen by the wayside. Desks gave way to the ergonomically egregious salon table, or to writing with my laptop in my lap. Book 2 was written with the laptop in my lap while I sat in the cockpit. Took weeks to unkink my neck and back.
Then I had to establish a new ritual, preferably a healthier one - that of riding in to the tea shop every day to write. Books three and five were written there while sipping various murky brews. Book four was written at the boat and while I waited during a long string of vet appointments when the eldest boy took ill. (He's now fine for a 17.5 year old with liver disease.)
But, on the heels of publishing book five and in the midst of writing book six, the tea shop can no longer be my go-to. I 100% regret the loss of that ritual, but it can't be helped. So here I am. Gritting my teeth in the center of the ritual that requires me to find a new ritual. Quite by accident, I may have found it earlier today. While waiting for the laundry in the Laundromat, I pounded out 800 words in an hour. Hush. For me, that's incredible. My point is that if this bears out, I may wear every last stitch of clothing out by washing them. Not sure how a Laundromat is germane to a historical fantasy, but what ever. Writing, man. The glamor never ends.