This morning as I took my seat I wished I had a little wooden sign like Charlie Brown's friend Lucy had. I'd put it on my office door. Every morning I'd flip it over, then close my door and go to work:
The author is IN.
Ever watch a major league ballplayer step up to the plate? Each performs his little ritual: one might roll his shoulders and adjust his helmet while another might stamp his feet, wiggle his backside, spit, and then wiggle his backside again. They'll do this every time they come to bat. Rituals have always been big in baseball, so most players are aware, at least on some level, of what they're doing.
It's time to hit. I'm hitting now. Big hit. I'm ready.
I believe writers are big on rituals, too. Not necessarily because they're superstitious, as many baseball players appear to be, but simply because they're creative people and when they sit down to write, they must access that special part of their brains where the story comes from.
It's time to write. I'm writing now. Here I go.
Do you turn the radio on when you're ready to write, or do you switch it off? Must you have a tall cup of coffee on your desk before you can sit down to do serious work? Maybe you've never even thought about it before. But this morning I'm wondering: What do all of you do to help yourselves slip into "writing mode"?