Writing

Are you a superstitious writer?

I’m a little worried to tell you that from Friday through Sunday, I added 5,000 words to my novel-in-progress. At the pace I’ve been working, that’s an amazing total. Yay me! But why do I hesitate to tell you that? Superstition.

What if saying the writing is going well jinxed the word flow? Should I have knocked wood when I typed that—or knocked paper, monitor, keyboard? How do you ward off bad luck for writing? Better yet, how do you bring good luck? Yeah, I know—sit your butt down and write.

As a child, I learned many superstitions. Don’t let a black cat cross your path. Don’t walk under a ladder. Don’t step on a crack or you’ll break your mother’s back. Even though I knew those didn’t make much sense—no sense in the last one—they gave me pause.

Some writers have superstitions, though some might say they’re only routines they observe. I’ll admit I’m superstitious about naming characters. I don’t use names of family and close friends, especially if that character might encounter a series of unfortunate events. Words have power. I don’t want to risk setting something in motion carelessly.

I slipped up once. When I named a character Jennie in The Brevity of Roses, it didn’t occur to me that was a form of my daughter-in-law’s name because I always call her Jennifer. Yeah, I know, how dense am I? At least nothing bad happened to the character.

I’m curious to know, do you admit to any superstitions concerning your writing? Or maybe you call it a routine—something like the need to eat five bites of chocolate before you type your first word of the day. Care to share?