If you’re a writer, where and when do you write?

It took me a while to figure out where and when I work best.  And it shouldn’t have been a mystery.  I’ve always been an early riser.  When I was a kid, I was up ahead of Saturday morning cartoons.  I actually took an eight o’clock calculus class in college on purpose to get it out of the way.  Breakfast is my favorite meal and morning is my best time of the day.

Why, then would I ever try writing after work, in the evening, when I’m not at my peak?  Because I’m just plain stubborn.  I was already getting up at 6:30 in the morning for work and didn’t want to get up any earlier.  But when I committed myself to my first manuscript, I decided to give my freshest time to writing, so I got up at 5:00 and wrote for an hour and a half before work.

I was soooo productive.  Usually my excitement about my project was enough to keep me writing on the bus on the way to work.  And thinking about my manuscript through the morning (because, as I like to say, thinking is working).  Sometimes I would write at lunch, too.  Usually when I would get home I would be bushed and winding down which was OK, because I had already been pretty darn productive.  I’m not saying that 5:00 AM is for everyone.  In my case, it was just the time of day I was free and freshest.

Which leads to another question: Where do you write?

Here’s a fun fact about me: I have a writing office and I never write there.  It holds those dozens of notebooks with writing ideas, a cork board with ideas stuck on it, and my coffee hotplate that keeps my coffee warm.  It might be because the room is intemperate.  Or it could be because my cat hangs out in there a lot and is jealous of my computer.  Or maybe it’s too quiet.  But for whatever reason, if I’m at home, I almost always end up writing in the living room.

However, most of the time, I don’t write at home.  I’m one of those lucky people who can write just about anywhere, but being at the house is distracting for me.  At home, there’s always something that needs my attention: cleaning, laundry, dishes….  At a coffee shop, it’s just me and my mini HP.  If I need inspiration, I just look around.  But a lot of the time I write on public transportation, at my desk at work, and sometimes in cafes.  The only thing that really throws me off is music.  It’s harder for me to “hear” my characters when I’m listening to lyrics, too.  Again, that’s just me.  Stephanie Meyers puts her books out with a playlist…so clearly music is a big part of her inspiration.

So what about you?  Where and when do you like to write?  Do you have a special room?  Music?  Any odd rituals?