I think the secret with writing is to do it every day. I have in this room more or less everything I need, from reference books to Post-it notes, so that I have no excuse for pencil sharpening. There is a small kitchen, where each day starts with an elaborate coffee ritual.
There's no pattern about the way I write, except it's always the first thing I do. I wake up anywhere between 4am and 10am, depending on the merriments of the night before or if a dream jolts me, then scribble, type or slash through yesterday's work till I start to feel a little sick from not eating.
I don't start writing until I've done the research and got an idea pretty clear. When I sit down here, with my laptop, I've got my work pared down to a bunch of typed notes and a page of scribbles about the way the chapter or piece might take shape. It doesn't always take that shape, but I like the reassurance.
How could books drive me out of my book room? It's just as well that I write in the same facile way wherever I am - no blocks or anguish, no contemplation, no elaborate revision, no need for love-tokens or nice views. Mine is street-level urban W1, but I usually close the shutters.
I organise my work in the form of a daily diary. Each chapter is strictly chronological but is also monothematic - say, a war, a set of peace negotiations, a joust. I normally begin my first paragraph just before I break for lunch and then work solidly through the afternoon. I start cooking supper at about half past five or six and then go back to the Mac for a final blitz before drinks. Every three or four days, I'll finish a chapter, which James reads over drinks, while I try not to watch his expression. It's better than any publisher's editor and instantaneous.
The very early morning, before the mayhem of the school run, is the best time for sustained writing. If I haven't hit 500 words by breakfast, the day can be forgotten - the rest of it will be squandered on emails, pencil-sharpening and web-surfing.
Edited to add: Judging my day by Bate's description, I'd better give up right now.