Posted by: Trudie Trewin | October 9, 2009

Thinking hats

Page-fright – the panic that descends on a writer when confronted by a blank page, and no idea what to put on it.

Time to put on the thinking cap, or in my case…thinking hat. Yep, I really do have one.

Here it is…thinking hatNot quite stylish enough for the Melbourne Cup – but just right for writing. The stones? Well, they’re dual purpose. New age-y symbols for things like luck, clear thinking, confidence and creativity – and weights, to keep the hat on my head when the fan’s on full blast.

My thinking hat is what I put on when I sit down to write. My talisman I guess. Does it make my writing any better? Who knows – but it doesn’t make it any worse – and it does keep me focused. A physical reminder of what I’m supposed to be doing (the weight of all the stones means I can’t forget that it’s on my head!). And on a couple of occasions I’ve heard my boys say ‘Don’t go in the office, Mum’s got her thinking hat on.’ Only a couple of times though.

It’s a bit superstitious I suppose, but I bet I’m not alone. Come on, own up if you have a pair of lucky slippers you like to write in, or a pre-writing ritual of some sort.  (A little tip – telling yourself that it’s a good omen if you win a game of spider solitaire before you start writing for the day is a really, really bad idea. Better to wear a silly hat.)



  1. I love your thinking hat! So clever (and very children’s writerish of you). I’m a creature of habit and quiet superstition, but I’m very disappointed to say that I don’t have anything quite like this. I do have little talisman’s on my desk that watch over me while I write: a jade elephant, a glass cat and a fat little buddha (I rub his tummy).

  2. I get some funny looks from the parcel delivery man when I forget to take the hat off to answer the door, too!
    And Kath, I’m sure rubbing a buddha’s tummy counts as a ritual!

  3. I think all writers have their little rituals and talisman’s. I personally have an Author Snoopy toy I picked up during a McDonald’s marketing drive. There were dozens of Snoopy dolls dressed in different profesions. Whenever I get stuck with my writing, I give Snoopy’s head a little squeeze and it seems to get my brain working.
    I know what you mean about Page Fright! I’m gearing up at the moment to tackle NaNoWriMo – 50000 word in 30 days.


  4. Good luck with NaNoWriMo, Jeff – no time for page fright there!

  5. Not superstitious, but this is definitely a ritual – and a BAD one at that! I get up and walk to the fridge, open the door, contemplate the contents (looking for something I can grab and eat without crumbs, dribbles, preparation, utensils…) then walk away again – back to the computer. As long as there’s no chocolate in the fridge, it’s okay. But some days… *Sigh*

    I even try hiding the chocolate… but always find it. And when I get my husband to lock it in the safe… I can’t get it!!! (Which is not a good thing, you realise, when one is desperate for thought-inducing chocolate.)

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