I usually write either early in the morning, with a hot cup of coffee at my side, or after exercising. I have to kick the cats out of the room, turn on the fan, empty the litter box, and light a scented candle. I might start with a poem or just a list of words and phrases on a page in Word. My goal is simple: to fill the page.
Sometimes, a scan of topics in the paper or on the Internet allows me to garner some ideas. However, I have to set a timer or I’ll lose myself in the Web.
It’s best if the house is empty, but I’m sure to tell my boyfriend if I don’t want to be distracted. When I write, I almost fall into a trance, and I get really moody if I’m interrupted. That’s why I send the cats out of the room. (However, I’m not cruel. They can come in if they need water or to use the litter box, of course.)
I’ve tried writing in coffee shops, but in general that doesn’t go well for me unless I’m writing about what I see in the coffee shop or it’s otherwise a source of inspiration. I get really distracted by the grinding of beans, annoying music, and distracting people. These are situations I might normally find funny, such as guys macking on girls, but when I’m writing, I’m serious.
I write for a solid three hours, and then I stop. I usually get hungry at that point, and my coffee and water cups are dry. After writing, I feel exhausted and elated. I have DONE something! I have a word count to show for my labor! I have drained myself on the page! And I am exhausted.
Where do you write? What’s your ritual?