Nobody performs a task the same way. Some can jump right in and knock it out without any sort of preamble. Others, like myself have a set of things we must do before we can get into the necessary frame of mind.
(Cue Law and Order Intro Theme)
Over the years, I’ve fallen into a peculiar ritual before I start writing. I have to lay out my caffeinated beverage in a particular place, cue up an appropriate playlist on my phone’s music app, light a cigarette, review the previous session’s prose, and then stare off into Space for a few minutes until the words come. It’s not very time efficient nor does it serve any logical purpose, but it exists to force me to get into a productive work mode. I’m not OCD by any means, but habits get picked up over time and those habits tend to be comforting.
It’s often a major pain in the ass, especially on those days when I don’t feel especially motivated to write but need to get things going. I’m not saying that having a ritual is a bad thing, but when you fall into a certain set of habits, it does mess things up a little when the work conditions aren’t met. However, the beauty of change is being flexible enough to adjust when necessary in order to get the job done.