I've always heard that baseball players were really superstitious. During playoffs, they might wear the same pair of socks for every game or listen to a particular song. They have little rituals they believe will help them play their best or help their team win the big game.
I think writers are quite a lot like that, don't you? We all have our little rituals. Personally, considering I need all the help I can get these days, I burn candles. Lately I've been hooked on pumpkin spice because, yes, I'm in a big hurry for fall to get here. Sick of the summer heat and ready for cooler weather and the turning of the leaves. The pumpkin spice candles bring the fall into my office and settle my mind.
Some writers like to work to music. Are you one of them? I have friends who write to wild, head-banging beats and they tell me the words just flow for them. So far, I've found that kind of music (though I LIKE it) distracts me rather than calms my mind. If I listen to music at all, it's something very zen....rainfall in the forest or waves crashing on the beach. Normally, however, I need some quiet when I write. Once upon a time, I wrote with kids in the house and I didn't seem to have a problem writing among the chaos. Looking back, I don't know how I did it because I'm a peace-and-quiet kinda gal. I must have a calm mind in order for the story to flow through it.
Laundry days are usually good writing days for me. I know it's strange but if I write while doing the laundry, I'm up and down from my chair at fairly regular intervals. Seems to give me just the small break I might need and I do some of my best internal brainstorming while folding the clothes. Maybe it's the mindless, repetitive physical movement that clears my mind but if I'm stumped on where to go in the scene, the path to usually opens to me when doing something very boring. Does that make sense?
What are the writing rituals that seem to work best for you?