For a long time now, my morning writing ritual has been to turn up at the desk, light a candle in the oil burner and begin.

The oil burner sets on a shelf on my desk. There are roses entwined on the outside of the burner, and the oil I almost always use is Australian Bush Scents. This essential oil blend includes lemon myrtle, paperbark and tea tree oils. It conjures up walks through the bush with the gum trees towering above and tea tree bushes alongside, with brightly coloured birds calling overhead.

I usually have the radio playing in the background, though I tend to turn it off when the news comes on. I can see people walk past from my window, but if I’m in the middle of something I can be quite oblivious to anything apart from the scratch of pen on paper, or the tapping of keyboard keys, trying to describe whatever scene is in my mind or some thought that needs to be captured.

The simple act of lighting a candle and warming the essential oils creates a sensory signal that it is time to sit still, pay attention, and get the words down.

Do you have a ritual to focus your mind?

Inspired by Discover Prompts – April writing prompts