First I go to Word. There's something about just going into that program that is just so decisive. It's not a fun program. There aren't any little games to play or pencils to draw with. Just a blank white sheet of paper staring back at you. All that blank white space, replete with endless possiblities. It's also full of...nothing. All that possibility or failure just staring at you. I swear I could loose myself in that field of endless white glare.
I have to force myself to go to "File" then "Open" and confront my current work in progress. I open it. I stare at it and then I always go to "Word Count" and marvel at the number, even if the number is just five hundred. Or one hundred. I always pat myself a little on the back, marveling at what I have accomplished, although I know in the long run it's not the quantity but the quality that counts. But when writing the first draft, its all about word count baby. At least that's the way I get through it.
Then I do some math. My daily word count at this point it 800 words. Not too much, not too little. Just enough to keep me challenged and focused. Five hundred is to easy for me and 1600 makes me feel like I am writing for Nano. But eight hundred? Yeah, I can do that. Then I go the handy littly accessory Windows provides, the calculator. And add my eight hundred words to my previous total. This is my writing goal for today. As I write, I frequently check the word count and say to myself, "Okay only five hundred more to go! You can do that in your sleep! Just two hundred more the go! Come on! You go! What a lousy littly fifty words? You're tired, so what?"
Finally I finish. It's not perfect. I know when I go back over this I am going to cringe at some of my sentence structures and poor choices of words. But when I check the final word count, its a rare day that I haven't exceded my goal even if its only by ten words. Some days the words just flow and somedays its like pulling teeth.
And that's my daily writing ritual. What about you, what's your daily writing ritual?