Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Benefits of Transitions

Last post, I promised I would share my second technique that helps me maintain productivity. The first was giving myself small (or relatively small) rewards. But the second, is creating transition rituals to signal my brain it’s time to write. I call them Signal Rituals. Go figure. :o)

It’s a fact that our minds have to switch their mental gears to function optimally. One of the best ways you can help your brain do that is to create patterns in your life that identify a change from one activity to the next. For example, a lot of writers I know play a game of Words with Friends or jump on their email or facebook or blog then rev up to write.

That doesn’t work for me. I could stay for hours once there. (I have limited will power).

So I use glasses of water. I know when I fill a little cup of water up and drink it dry, it’s time to get my brain in the game of writing. I also use water drinking to signal time to exercise, time to get-the-kids-ready-for-school rush, and for my daily devotional time. Other rituals I use are: lighting a candle or other special lighting (like a lamp), music for the writing mood, spray on a good smell or put an oil in a diffuser, or breathing exercises.

It really doesn’t matter what you do as long as it’s consistent and quickly accomplished.

After all, we use transitions with scenes in our stories, wouldn’t it make sense to use transitions for the scenes in our lives? :o)

Merry Christmas to you all!!


  1. Wow, I haven't heard about using transitions. That would be so helpful to get my brain in writing mode. Thanks for the tip!

  2. I never really thought about it before, but I guess my ritual is to prepare my writing space. I get myself ready to write by making sure my writing materials are where I need them within easy reach.

    Wishing you and yours a happy, blessed Christmas and new year, Jackee!

  3. Brilliant!! I hadn't really thought about it before, but you're right - I do transitions too. I go the same place, have a cup of Chai tea, turn on my background noise of choice and away I go!

    Enjoy a marvelous, joyful Christmas season!! :)

  4. Wow. Thanks for giving a scientific and rational sounding reason to explain why I need to jump on FB or Twitter in between writing some paragraphs. I never spend long there, but the switch does benefit me. Awesome!

    Now I can explain that the mental gear switch is helping me function optionally!

    This makes sense to me. It really does.

  5. I like it - two benefits: staying hydrated and getting motivated!

    My ritual is to get a cup of tea and put on my favorite writing music (Romances for Saxophone, Branford Marsalis) and TURN OFF THE INTERNET!!!!

  6. Great post, Jackee! I play words with friends for a few minutes before I write. It's like I need those extra words before I can use my own words. I need to find a ritual for right before exercising.

  7. I am not a writer but GREAT idea! I am going to try it!

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  9. How funny! I fill a mason jar with water and drink it as I write. When I was writing and revising Star Swans, I ate Salt N Pepper pistachios. It was a yummy tradition. :o)