I know writers who follow routines so rigorous that it would make a Swiss rail schedule look unpredictable. They sit at their desks every morning at the same time with the same flavor of tea until they produce the precise number of words as they had the previous day.
Me? I am the polar opposite. I need neither a designated space nor a specific block of time to do my best writing. In fact, often the opposite is true. Two or three unscheduled quiet days can be paralytic to me accomplishing anything, while I might do my best writing in the midst of my most hectic schedule as an ER physician and father of two schoolgirls.
I have no specific routine or ritual to my approach. Sometimes I write daily while other times I take weeks between sentences. I write morning,noonand or night. I can write anywhere. All I need are ideas and a keyboard, but I never set out to reach a certain word count or number of pages in any one session. That is a recipe for disappointment.
What inspires me most when tackling a new manuscript? Momentum. I am very cognizant how important those first pages and chapters are to the success of a novel, however, I know from bitter experience that I can over-polish a rough gem of an idea down to a nub of nothingness. So I try to turn off that self-editor and allow the story to carry me.
When I feel the story taking shape, hear my characters voices and can envision a shadow of the finish line, those are the conditions—regardless of my surroundings or my schedule—under which I write best!