Having the right soundtrack ready and the ideas running through my mind gets me a long way when I'm getting in the writing zone. But there are a few other items that really help me hit that sweet spot.
We all have our own ways of preparing. Then again maybe I'm a bit OCD and need things to be just right before I can try to get any work done. It wouldn't be the first time I'd be accused of being weird like that.
So here are just a few things that help me get my ducks in a row.
Grandpa's sweater - My paternal grandfather passed away when I was 17 years old. He was a preacher and when he wasn't in his light blue dress shirt with his red tie, he was either rocking a white tank-top undershirt, an Ohio State sweatshirt, or some other button down shirt. On chilly days he had a sweater that reminded me of Mr. Rogers. I became the owner of said sweater after he passed. To most people it would seem ugly. It is pea/puke green with brown buttons down the front. I feel as if I need to be in a library whenever I wear it...maybe that is why I chose to wear it only when I am writing. It has the same effect as Superman's cap for me...the minute I put it on I go from scatter-brained-Amy to Focused-Writer-Girl.
Writing board - I'm a visual person, I love vision boards and when it comes to preparing for any new book, I first start with finding photos of actors who look like the characters I have in mind. This is super helpful for me when I'm writing a scene and trying to imagine what the characters facial or physical gestures at any given time would be. I used to keep the photos in a word document, but once I created my office I got a large cork board that I have over my desk. This really helps me too so I don't have to switch from my writing document back to a photo document. I also like putting the pending cover design on there too. (FYI - this is the OLD cover for Down for the Count....it's being revamped).
Jolly Rancher Cinnamon Hard Candy - Yes...candy helps me focus! Maybe it's the sugar, maybe it's the doing two things at once (sucking on candy and using my brain). I don't know why this works...but it does! I know another writer who prefers peppermint candies while another loves chocolate kisses. But for me there is something about the cinnamon flavor that does the trick. Added bonus - the spicy flavor helps keep my sinuses clear as well! It's a win-win!
That's just a few things I have around me when I am writing....in addition to making the walls a cool mossy green that is calming, the throw blanket over the back of my chair that I got as part of a trade of my books with another vendor at a craft show, and my dogs sleeping on the loveseat next to my desk.
So there you have it, a glimpse into what constitutes my happy writing space.