22 September 2011

Rabbit’s Feet and Wishing Wells

Copyright by Moomsabuy

Do you have a charm that sits by your computer as you type out that last chapter of your book? A special pen that you use as you scribble down your ideas for your next story? A song that you must play while you write out your poetry, your stories, your novel?

Why do you have that? Well, let me tell you this - every writer is superstitious in some way. Every writer has a rule they stand by that is special to them. Why? Because we have to be.

Our superstitious behavior is always very unique and we may not even be aware of it. But, we swear by it. It’s what gets us writing, and gets the words down on paper. For some writers it’s a special time that they must write at. Or a location. Or a method, whether its typing or handwriting. Or for some writers it’s a lucky charm.

I have a reason why I am finally recognizing the importance of such a charm, habit, or quirky behavior that goes along with the desire to write…those reasons came about when I broke my own cardinal rule when it comes to writing.

My rule?

I never talk about my writing idea when I haven’t yet completed my first draft.

I broke it when I was talking to a friend, and it came up that I was working on a new story idea. In just a few sentences, I described my idea. I thought by not explaining the entire idea that I wasn’t breaking my rule.

What response did I get after describing my idea?

Hmmm…that sounds mildly interesting, they said.

Excuse me? Mildly interesting?

Quickly, I ended the conversation from there and pulled back into my shell where I rarely talk about writing at all with people. But, when my frustration directed towards this person wore off, and I regained my confidence in my latest idea all over again, I realized the importance of having rules, and superstition when it comes to writing.

Maybe some people can easily talk about their first drafts before they are done. I have heard of well published authors who give their first few chapters to people to read and critique before they are even done.  Me? I couldn’t do that.

I have learned the hard way that talking about my writing before I have crossed that finish line is a terrible idea. I will when I am done with it and I need the story critiqued. But that first round? I need to protect it. I can’t even talk about the fact that I am working on a book or a short story.

So, whether you need to turn around three times before sitting at the laptop, wish upon a falling store, rub that rabbit’s foot, or toss a coin into the wishing well, let me tell you this…your superstitions aren’t weird and they aren’t useless…they keep you writing.

And remember, at the end of the day…that is what matters the most. Today I’m inspired to write because I have kept writing. I am inspired because I am learning along the way. I am also inspired because I think my story idea is more than mildly interesting and I get a cheap thrill out of proving people wrong. And that in and of itself is inspiring.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Oh my gosh, I am so superstitious. I know some of it OCD which I have a moderate case of, but some things are just plain silly. I'm too embarrassed to even mention them they are so dorky.

  3. Good point! I haven't thought of not talking about my writing until the 1st draft is done (which I do too) as a superstition, but you are right - it is. Criticism or lack of enthusiasm in our early writing process is the last thing we need.
    Great post!

  4. Cute post Nicole, thanks for sharing your feelings. I won't ask about your next chapter. LOL

  5. I follow the phases and astrological transits of the moon. Call me loony. I won't send out a query when the moon is void-of-course.

  6. You are correct in a way.

    Back in the old days, when I was a copywriter, I never showed anything to my boss in my handwriting. I would always type it and show it to him. The reason being he would always managed to reject the handwritten stuff.

    iclw #39

  7. I haven't gotten to that point yet. Although I would love to speak with you about finding a publisher.

  8. @Nancy Thompson - Good to know I'm not alone!! :) Ha ha, to me, superstitions are never weird!!

    @E.D. - Yup, it's such a vulnerable period of time! Not talking about it helps me more than talking about it!!

    @The Desert Rocks - Yes, please don't! :) Thank you for reading!!

    @Moon Child - Oh, I can understand that! We writers need all the luck we can get! :)

    @St. Elsewhere - Oooh, that would be so frustrating. And it's almost like typing it out is another way of editing what you are doing! Thank you for reading!!

    @Susan - OH I'd love that! Not quite at that stage yet, but I will definitely remember you about that!!

  9. I am very superstitious, I have certain rules and rituals I have to follow when doing something important. I also have several good luck charms I like to keep around!!

    Happy ICLW

  10. I love this post because it means I am normal! Yes, I have little things all around me that 'inspire' me or bring me luck. Wonderful blog.


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