That's funny, my second of three majors was photojournalism, much for the same reason. I loved the idea of being a photojournalist, but I severely lacked the "chops".
As for the post, there is something to say for a process that is yours and yours alone. I pitched in high-school baseball and I had the same process at the mound for each person at bat. This process put me at ease and allowed me to get in to a "zen" like mode. -Though I'd have looked at you sideways back then if you suggested I did anything "zen".
I have had similar routines for other athletic endeavors, but I've never incorporated ritual or routine in to a creative process. It's different every time. I don't need my special "pick" to play the guitar etc, I just play the thing.