What's your writing routine? Do you write early or late? Most creative between the hours of 10 & 2, but only if you've had a cup of coffee, a candy bar, and got out of bed on the left side instead of the right?

I'm on a deadline. Or a couple of deadlines, to be truthful. Self-imposed, certainly. And I have been hitting the keyboard regularly, staying for hours, writing more than I ever thought I could do in one day — and yet, there are still a few things I end up doing that I can't seem to stop.

I get up around 7 usually, make coffee and come upstairs to my office. I check email. I read and comment on blogs. When Idol is going on, I check the Idol recaps. And then that thing known as procrastination sets in. My document is open, waiting for me on another screen. All I have to do is click over, read a few paragraphs, and start work.

But I keep finding things to do. I don't want to click over. I don't want to work. I can waste an hour (after the hour of email and blogs) avoiding work. Why?

Darn if I know, but it happens all the time. Once I get brave enough to face my manuscript, I'm off to the races. But it's the getting brave part I have trouble with. This seems to be a nearly non-negotiable part of my routine. I can force myself to click over. But then I stare. And stare. The brain won't function.

I think, maybe, I need that distraction of other stuff while my mind readies itself. Even when I start work, I'll often click back to the Internet side when I finish a scene. I'm thinking about how to start the next scene. Sometimes, a hot shower is in order. Sometimes, like yesterday, I'll vacuum or start laundry (no choice — inlaws arrived last night).

It sounds an awful lot like making excuses, doesn't it? But it seems to work for me. Yeah, there was a time when I kept up the blog-hopping and surfing all day because I was S-T-U-C-K. I can't do that anymore. People are waiting on me to get stuff to them. And I will not fail because I couldn't face myself if I did. I certainly couldn't face my hubby.

Unfortunately, I think a certain amount of time-wasting is part of my process. I just need an hour or so to play before I work, I guess. What about you? Do you waste time? Or are you a machine who works set hours and never deviates?