What rituals do you have to get yourself into (and keep yourself in) the writing mood?
My ritual is a large "Caribbean Market" scented candle that I let burn on the desk beside me as I type. I've never been big on candles as scented candles have been known to get my allergies going, and I don't see any real purpose in unscented candles. Fortunately this candle not only smells great (something like orange sherbet or tutti-fruity) but it does not affect my allergies! Also there is that fire safety concern. I have my candle sitting on a fireproof insulator instead of just directly on the table itself, and I'm planning to use it only when I am working on my novel or doing affiliated tasks like (as I am doing right now) conversing in the forums.
I sit down to write, then feel bad because I'm ignoring the dog, so I make him do a few tricks for a treat before sitting back down to write. Then I feel like there's so much else that needs doing, so I type out a few words and get up to do other things, like the dishes or cleaning the bathroom, before sitting back down again. Then, I get stuck on a scene and wind up playing spider solitaire.
Change of location for me. I have to leave the house, go to a coffee shop. Also, minimal Internet and I can't be alone. I mean, I sit at a table by myself, but knowing that the guy three tables down *might* glance at me screen keeps me going.
Although I promise myself every year that I'm not going to do it, I usually end up writing at least half of mine at work, literally Alt-Tabbing between my work stuff and my writing from 8:00 until 5:00 five days a week. It's getting harder and harder to carve out time and space at home on nights and weekends with the kids getting older, which makes it less likely that I'll get anything accomplished when I'm there. And it's also rare that I can get away to write on my own, unless I take a day off of work and don't tell the family (which I've done on one or two occasions over the past few Novembers). So my ritual, I suppose, is trying to look busy doing anything but writing a novel.
That being said, I broke my hand shortly after midnight on the 1st (not novel-related... I'm not that intense), so I'm doubtful that any amount of multi-tasking at work is going to save me this year. Finally got started today (on vacation), but ugh, it's slow... and my brief attempt at using Google Docs' voice-typing functionality was laughable. But hey, we'll see how it goes.
last year, i'd go to the library or panera or the coffee cafe...that was how i'd get myself to write...but last year i was also on ADHD medication that helped IMMENSELY to focus...
this year, I am with out medication..and I am already having moments of difficulty where my brain just WILL NOT focus AT ALL...it's like having to babysit a hyperactive monkey that wants to go everywhere and do everything and there is nothing you can to do stop the monkey because you no longer have any candy to give it so it will stop for a while...even though caffeine works (because stimulants do that, oddly enough)...it's 12:45am and i have to be up early in the morning...
but...BUT...BUT!!!! I think...pumpkin spice lattes will work if they still have them...otherwise...i'll have to find another holiday latte...because the warm beverage is comforting...and the caffeine helps my adhd brain out, A LOT..so...lattes and tea will have to be my ritual...providing it's not too late in the evening to drink it
Don't blink. Blink and your dead.They are fast. Faster than you can believe. Don't turn your back, Don't look away, and don't blink!
I just pop in my earbuds and listen to a playlist I've curated of songs that remind me of my project. Coffee, flavored seltzer, wine, or whiskey is usually present -- depending on the project, the time of day, and whether or not I'm solely responsible for the care of my children. Also, I have a warmer on my writing desk, so I usually have a tart melting while I'm sitting there. Sometimes, I even choose the scent based on what I'm writing.