Insecure Writers' Support Group 6 May 2020

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I tend to liberally sprinkle my writing with salty language. If your parents don't want you reading the colorful words, then hit the back button on your browser.

The question is: Do you have any rituals that you use when you need help getting into the Zone?

The short answer is "no."

But that would be a pretty crap post, so we'll go on.

A long time ago, I used to do mystical rituals every night. I know this question isn't referring to mystical rituals, but hold on, it ties in.

A long time ago, I used to do mystical rituals every night, but my focus wasn't right most of the time. I was a very unhappy person who had a lot of trauma from my past that I was blocking out, and I had an improperly diagnosed major mental illness.

Now, there are a lot of old school uncool (as opposed to old school cool) practitioners of the craft who say that individuals living with mental illness should never do magic. I say, fuck a whole lot of that noise. Getting in tune with the elemental forces and with the planetary and universal energies can be calming, grounding, and healing. The trouble is, that wasn't what I was doing and I didn't have much (as in, I didn't have jack shit) in the way of Earthly guidance.

I was in a lot of pain and I felt a lot of unloved. I was trying to find someone to love me. I wanted friends who wouldn't leave me, and I wanted a fairytale Happily Ever After. I was married, and he was a decent guy who today I consider a very important part of my forever family, but we have been divorced since 1994, and it was for the best. We were drawn to each other because both of us came from dysfunctional families. We were both badly damaged. We tried to save each other, but as time went on, things became more and more toxic.

Anyway, no, I don't have any rituals for getting into the zone. But I would like to start doing the other kind of rituals again, this time with a different focus. I'm thinking that maybe I could combine the two things. When I am having trouble writing, perhaps spray a little essential oil and try to meditate on getting myself back in tune with the energies of the planet.

There is disruption in my life at this time, and I've been depression sleeping. For those who don't know, I have rapid-cycling type 2 bipolar disorder. I went from hypomania, where I was feeling like I'm on track and it's only a matter of time until people discover that weird fiction is cool and they'll be clamoring for mine to feeling like nobody will ever want to read my work and I'll die destitute like my literary heroes, H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe. 

I'll never again buy into the belief that I'm a bad writer. I'm not. I'm a weird writer, and that isn't everyone's thing, nor is it a thing that tends to lend itself to becoming popular. But it's my thing, and I love it, and I wouldn't trade it to write a Twilight or a Fifty Shades of Gray. (Yuck to both of those.) 

What I am bad at is promoting myself. I'm very shy, and trying to sell myself goes against my nature. I wish the writing could speak for me, but it doesn't entirely, and I'm reclusive and kind of prickly. When it comes to promotion, I often feel as if I'm pretending to be something I'm not. 

This is one of the reasons that I tend to be unflinchingly honest about myself, even though I know it tends to make people uncomfortable. People only want the Happy Crappy, the Feel-Good Story, the Happy Ever After. I can't give that. I live in the middle of a vicious cycle, and I always will. Medications are not "one size fits all," and they make me manic and psychotic anyway. I don't like being either of those things. 

I also don't think it's right that people like me are pushed into poverty and then told that we deserve to be poor because it's impossible for us to work "normal" jobs. If there's anything this damn pandemic has taught us, it should be that the "normal," nine-to-five, five days a week system is broken. There are a lot of jobs that can and should be done remotely. It would be better for the planet and better for us as a collective. It would also allow a fair number of disabled people to work where they currently cannot. There's a lot that needs fixing, and it's high time that it was addressed.

So, let me thank you for coming to my TED rant. If you have a ritual that works to get you into the Zone, good on ya. Maybe someday I will too.

~Your ornery old Aunt Cie~

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Content coyright 2020 by Cara Hartley

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  1. I think it's pretty cool that you dabbled in rituals! If you ever get a chance, you might want to check out a show currently on Netflix called The Midnight Gospel. In one of the episodes, a character talks about how meditation and magic are basically the same thing, and one is just an accelerated version of the other. I think that idea ties in with what you said in your post about the mindset and intentionality behind creating rituals and space for yourself. Good luck!

  2. You are a hard person to find. I hope the rant gave you a bit of relief. Depression sleeping? Good way to describe how I've felt for weeks and weeks of sheltering in place. (BTW, I found you because of Weekend Writing Warriors.) Hope you have a better month.

    1. Thank you, Diane. I'm kind of all over the place, but I'm trying to rein it in a bit, blogging-wise. It's hard for me to do. I have ADD and OCD as well as the bipolar disorder, and I have this obsessive need to not only make but categorize things.


I try to get comments published as quickly as possible. I have ADHD and anxiety and sometimes I need to work myself up to be able to respond to comments. I don't always reply to comments on my blog, but I do try to visit as many people as possible when I participate in blog hops. I share your work on the monthly Roost Recommendations posts at so others can discover your work. I do read and appreciate your comments.
Sorry, the Captcha is back and this time it's staying. I was inundated with spam comments when I turned it off. I wish butt rash on all the spammers out there.

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