“Writing Habits”

Since I first started seriously pursuing publication, I’ve developed a few quirks that help to put me in the mood for writing and to sustain it once I begin:
1. For me, nothing jars ideas loose inside my head better than a long run. Once I settle into a pace and successfully regulate my breathing, thoughts regarding my various projects start to flow. During many runs, I have patched plot holes and jump started many stalled plot engines.
2. A steady supply of Animal Crackers, Twizzlers, and Diet Pepsi. I think, sometimes, I’m motivated to write because I’m jonesing for my treats.
3. Write a little; nap a little. I very commonly reward myself for spending a prolonged period writing with a ten-to-twenty minute nap. During which time, the next scene often appears to me and chases me back to my den and desk.
4. Speaking of my den and desk, that is the only place I write, which makes me wonder why I even own a laptop. The next time it sits on my lap will be its first.
5. I work best when the house is empty; however, that is rarely the case. Therefore, I do my best to drown out the noise of daily living by turning on what I call my “noisemaker.” It’s actually a “white noise” machine designed as a sleep aid for light sleepers (think of the sound of a room air conditioner or a fan). Its gentle hum prevents me from becoming distracted by life outside of my den’s French double doors.
6. I always begin a writing session by rereading and making necessary revisions to whatever I completed in my last writing session.
7. I put on clothes that help me to feel “writerly,” which for me is typically a bohemian-grunge look: barefoot, a pair of my most comfortable jeans, and a favorite graphic t-shirt (in the winter time, over a white, long-sleeved, waffle-knit or flannel shirt). I have no idea why this is my image of a writer.
8. If the ideas aren’t flowing, I’ll go do something, anything else until they do. I refuse to wage war with writer’s block. I love to write, but sitting still for prolonged periods is almost impossible for me.
9. I like to shower right before I begin writing. It seems to energize me, wash away all that is unrelated to my work-in-progress, and puts me in a fresh state-of-mind.
10. I review Elmore Leonard’s “Ten Rules of Writing.”
Those are a few of my peculiarities. What about you? What puts you in the mood?