Deb Erika Has Lucky Socks. There. She said it.

Erika MarksMaybe it’s because I’m a Gemini, but when it comes to traditions, I’m all over the place.

Some days I crave ritual, other days I can’t wait to start something new. Thanksgiving dinner, I want the familiar dishes (creamed pearl onions, date nut bread) but then I plead with friends to bring over something I’ve never had before.

Yesterday Deb Joanne spoke of writing traditions. Allow me to cut to chase and call my writing traditions what they really are: superstitions.

* * * *

Now on the whole, I think most writers are superstitious.

Okay, let me rephrase that: I am a writer and I am superstitious.

I may like to mix it up when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner but don’t even think about leaving the volume on the stereo on level 13. Or on any odd number for that matter.

Oh, but it gets worse.

I write at our dining table and I have to have my computer in the same corner for the whole book.  I keep my mug on the same side as my mouse. (Yeah, that makes sense.) I even have a pair of fat woolly socks I wear. Year-round.

So I started thinking about what other professions are renowned for having their superstitions and a few came to mind.

There’s, of course, acting. Even those who have never been in a single theater production know of the superstitions that go with that territory. I may not be in the theater anymore, but I still can’t bring myself to utter, er type, the unlucky play name that must never be uttered backstage. Deb Linda will back me up on this one, I’m sure.

But when it comes to traditions and rituals, one profession seemed to dominate all others.

Baseball player.

So to make myself feel better prove that writers aren’t the only ones who enjoy their superstitions/pre-game rituals, I found this clip.

Gentlemen, I thank you.


Socks, people.

We are not alone.

Okay, so now that I’ve let all the spaz out of my bag, you can all feel free to chime in with your own equally embarrassing superstitions. Feel free to make some up to make me feel better. Really. I’ll respect you tremendously for it.

(Just try not to use 1313 characters in your comment if you can help it.)

13 Replies to “Deb Erika Has Lucky Socks. There. She said it.”

  1. LOL! Oh, this makes me feel so much better about my host of supersti–er, rituals. Maybe it IS a writer thing (as well as a baseball thing). And, yes, it totally is an acting thing. Don’t anyone dare say the name of “that Scottish play” in a theater. Or whistle.

    For writing…well, I sure wouldn’t be comfortable if I had to switch computers mid-book, so I hope like heck this one doesn’t crash before I finish my current WIP. And, of course, wearing the proper earrings for the kind of scene I’m writing is always helpful. Oh, and lucky undergarments…well, let’s not go there. 😉

    1. If anyone can go there, you can, Linda, dear! (I think “lucky underwear” made an appearance in the video too, so it’s all good 😉 )

      Oh, the computer thing is huge. I was using a small netbook for Gumbo and LOVED it and started this WIP on it but it began to show its age so I had to switch mid-way through to a larger PC. I was sure it would affect the book–fortunately it didn’t, but of course, that still hasn’t made me give up my superstitions…

  2. I don’t have any rituals or talismans that I need to do/have in order to write, but I’m very superstitious about jinxing things. As in, if you talk about stuff before it’s finalized, it will fall apart. This was really tough for me around getting a book deal: I wanted to shout it to the world, but I was scared if I did, I’d make it unhappen. I haven’t made it unhappen yet, but there’s still a lot of time for things to all fall apart. *touch wood*

    Not rational, but there you go.

    1. Same here. I can’t even utter the working title of a WIP–and I rarely talk too much about the story. It’s the “evil eye” thing. That’s always been a biggie on my dad’s side. Gypsies. It goes with the territory.

  3. erika …
    i love it ! … it always amazes me, and it shouldn’t after all these years, that we ( i should say “I” ) itially precieve people a certain way, put them into a tiny, narrow little box. then ! .. the more we see and get to know them, the more colorful and diverse they become. just think: now i imagine erika in her kitchen fixing pearl onions .. wearing her lucky socks !

  4. I have this thing about index cards. I must have them — they’re my socks. I must synopsize each scene on an index card as I go along. If I go too many chapters without writing out my index cards, I get nervous that I have a mess of words that don’t equal a story.

    I must have about 500 index cards waiting for me at all times. I must jot random ideas on them and carry then around with me when I go to cafes to write. I must peruse them periodically and reorganize them too.

    Sounds a little OCD, but I’m not–really! 🙂

    1. Hi Lisa! It’s not OCD–Come on! We writers have to stick together on this! 😉

      I think your ritual makes a heck of a lot more sense than mine–index cards have an actual application to a novel’s progress. Socks? Not so much.

  5. I am totally drawing a blank! This week is really drawing a blank for me. I used to be such a student of routine, but for whatever reason that seems to have totally fallen to the wayside over the past few months.

    I’ve never really been one for superstitions I guess… I wonder why not?

    1. You didn’t have the “evil eye” in your family, Rachel? All of my Jewish relatives used to speak of the “evil eye.”

      Anyone back me up on this one?

      All this said, Rachel, I’m really curious to read your post!!

  6. I’m with you Rachel. I’ve never been superstitious. I could never understand why baseball players wouldn’t cut their hair, or football players wouldn’t shave, or why writers wear wooly socks….

    Hey, but if it helps your writing process, you have to do it.

  7. Oh, Erika! I seriously think we are long lost twins!

    Yes, odd numbers are evil to me. Also, I basically refuse to close the file that contains my WIP unless ABSOLUTELY necessary (it’s happened once or twice and I’m convinced it somehow affects the creativity flow!) And I have a specific ring that I like to wear whenever I write. But my big one is this- I used to sit in a specific area at my local coffee shop to write. Then, they REARRANGED the furniture and brought in big, huge couches. Can you believe it! It totally messed me up. I tried, but I couldn’t find a place to sit that worked, so I don’t write there anymore. And it took me a whole month to fall into a new writing ritual.

    Okay, now that I sound totally weird . . . great post!

Comments are closed.