Writing Totems

innowen at DIY Planner has once again been dispensing creative wisdom, and has uncovered something in today’s article I had never heard of before – writing totems, which she describes as:

…a physical device to help draw your muse out to play. They can be a favored set of fingerless gloves, someone made you; a funny hat that you wear (it’s rumored that Chris Baty wears a Viking Helmet when he writes); or a stuffed bunny who wears a pirate scarf that sits next to you when you write. Totems give your hands something to touch and play and allows your mind to roam over the possibilities that the direction of your work can take. Getting writers block? Why not grab a book and read a random passage. I’m sure the exterior input generated by a book totem, will send an idea sparking through your head that you can use as a spring board to write. The plot ninja, which sat next to my desk… reminded me that no matter where my words went, I always had something to write about. Occasionally, when my mind pauses to think before writing something down, I grab that ninja and twist him in my hands and it helps focus my thoughts–guiding them into the sentences I want to carefully write down on the page.

Intrigued by this, I did a quick search to find out more.

It seems the writing totem was a big source of support for participants in this year’s NaNoWriMo and from this post in the forum it helped a lot of people achieve their target.

Over at Bum Glue a writer there talks about the importance of a writing totem and the effects of arriving at their writing place without it.

It’s interesting stuff, and something I may very well consider adopting myself once we have settled in our new place and the Big Creative Revival has begun… I may at last have a decent use for that Slash figure.

More from innowen: