Writing by Candlelight

One of the fun things about establishing a new habit is that day two usually has more friction than day one.

This was also this case this morning–the first part of my one-two writing punch happened eventually – aside from a bit of procrastination, I wrote three Morning Pages out longhand as soon as I dropped my second-born off at school this morning, but I’m only now posting my blog update at 4:25 PM while I’m on a conference call on a project I’m contributing on at work. Multitasking, eh? 

When I sat down to write this morning, I had a bit of trouble getting going. I had coffee, I had good music (A Mellifluous Playlist for NaNoWriMo), why were my words not flowing? I thought back to some of the tips in the YT video I posted yesterday, one of the recommendations was to have a writing ritual to get your mind in the writing process.

Lights Out

One of the writing ritual suggestions was to light a candle when writing. When I first read that suggestion, I thought it was a little too woo woo, but after kvetching for a moment, I realized how ignorant that opinion was–do I not light candles when I go to church? There the candles serve several purposes:

  • candles provide a physical focus for prayer
  • candles engage the senses through light, scent, and touch (careful, now!)
  • we donate $1 for each beeswax candle, so it’s a physical manifestation of the calling to give out of your surplus to others

In a similar way to how those candles provide a tangible benefit, this leftover jack-o-lantern candle from IKEA provides a way to engage my senses and focus on the writing. I can see the glow of the flickering light on my page. I can smell it’s mild paraffin and vanilla scent. When my hand strays near the candle, I can feel the heat generated by the tiny flame.


It is not an end in itself, but it is a focus for what I wish to be doing. Apparently, right now I wish to write about candles. Go figure.


One thought on “Writing by Candlelight

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