Do you have any weird habits when writing?

shoes off
Photo credit Used under a CC licence

It seems like some writers have weird habits or writing rituals, and some don’t. I have two:

1. For some reason I cannot write if I am wearing shoes. Tights and socks are ok. Shoes are not ok. Not even slippers or flip-flops and such. Forget about it. It’s like there is a direct line from my feet to the creative part of my brain that shuts down if I’m wearing shoes. Should I be calling them ‘foot prisons’ instead? Or ‘brain prisons’? The upshot is that I take my shoes off before I start to write, no matter where I am.  I often have my shoes off during critique sessions (but no one can tell because we are sitting at a table).

The weird part is that the rest of the time I love shoes. I even collect shoes. (Of all the ridiculous hobbies.)

2. I  have problems writing if there are other people in the room. Sometimes having the room to myself is not enough, and I can’t work if there are other people in the apartment. Unlike the shoe thing, the need for utter alone-ness seems to be intermittent.  The more anxious or stressed I am about writing, the harder it can be to write if there are other people at home.  I’ve met only one person who is an exception to this: my spouse Robert. I can and have written chapters while he has been nearby. I think that may be why I married him– I can stand to have him around while I am writing.  I suspect he’s ok because he is a quiet, self-contained man who respects boundaries.

Anyone else have strange writing rituals?

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