The ritual of writing

In keeping with yesterday's post about Goal Post Stickies (and thanks to all who shared their goal-keeping tricks), I thought I'd share my writing ritual.

A typical day, Monday through Friday (and sometimes weekends, though not always) goes like this:

  • Wake up, feed cats, eat breakfast, and start worrying about the manuscript.
  • Concoct a caffeinated beverage (usually coffee, sometimes green tea).
  • Turn on computer.  Sip caffeinated concoction while it boots up.
  • Resist the urge to check Facebook, Twitter, or other people's blogs.
  • Open up my Chapter Summary file (where I summarize each chapter after I write it).  
  • Figure out where I am in the book and what scene I need to write next. 
  • Open up main WIP file.
  • Check my goal post sticky.  Panic at the thought of adding 2,000 words to it.
  • Start writing.

On a really good day, I'll hit my word count goal in 90 minutes (this hardly ever happens.)  On a really bad day, it'll be 6 hours later and I'll be stuck somewhere around 1,300 words and trying not to panic (this hardly ever happens).

Most days, thankfully, I'm done in three hours.  After patting myself on the back (and I do physically pat myself on the back, because it just feels nice – if you don't believe me, try it), I reward myself by sifting and responding to emails, writing tomorrow's blog post, gallivanting through Facebook updates, catching up on other people's blogs, and killing my brain cells by reading PerezHilton.com.

What's your writing ritual?  Or, if you're not a writer, what's your work ritual?