Thursday, May 10, 2012


A lot of people, myself included, have difficulty getting rolling.  Our writing struggles to break the inertia of nothingness, and the first 15 minutes or so can be the hardest part of the process.  However, once we can break that inertia and get going, our writing picks up steam and seems to move of its own accord.

This is where, in a way, a daily word count goal can actually hurt you.  A number of writers will write to their word count goal and stop.  They'll figure, "Whew!  I made it to my 2500 words for the day, so I can stop."  I've made this same mistake over the years, and I kick myself now for not understanding that when you get up a head of steam...DON'T STOP!

When you're on a roll, for heaven's sake, stay on that roll.  There is little better feeling than to be hitting your stride on your writing, although this also applies to outlining, and you just know it's going great.  You've hit the zone and your words are almost writing themselves.  Unfortunately, too many of us then get to a certain point and then slam on the brakes.  We've reached our daily goal and feel like we can pick back up where we left off tomorrow .  However, most of us don't realize that we didn't really slam on the brakes - no, in order to stop, we ran ourselves into a wall.

Stopping so suddenly not only halts our momentum, but it makes it difficult to even figure out where to begin again.  That's why, the next day, we find ourselves right back where we were the day before - staring at a blank screen, desperately re-reading yesterday's prose in the hopes we can regain that spark we once had.  At that point, we'll usually smack ourselves in the head and ask, "Why in the world did I stop yesterday?  Things were going so well, but I had to get to the store to pick up that last batch of microwavable corn dogs before the national supply ran dry."

I could go on for a while, but I trust you get my point.  So long as you have the time, don't stop just because your goal for the day has been reached.  Pat yourself on the back for getting there, but if the words are flowing, don't stop the spigot.  As your work becomes less nebulous and more real, you'll find that spigot harder and harder to turn back on.

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