Maintaining Momentum

It’s amazing to me how much momentum matters in writing–at least to me. It doesn’t make sense on the surface. You start writing, and you stop when you’re done. I can pick a book up and read it, then set it aside for a day or three or five and pick it up and continue reading it without any trouble. Why shouldn’t the same be true with an artistic endeavor?

But in practice, if I skip out on even a day of writing, then getting back into that groove is a difficult task. Other things seem more appealing–like doing the laundry, or taking the dog for a walk. And when you’re on vacation? There are even more things that you feel like you should be doing, or would prefer to be doing.

I stick to my writing goals, because that’s what moves me forward. But there are days when it’s definitely harder than others.

And then there are overarching projects. I was in the middle of a revision of GET CUPID when I set it aside to work on a more important revision of THE MEMORY THIEF. I’m now literally in the middle of that revision, and there’s a good chance I’m going to set it aside to work on a potentially more-more important revision of TARNHELM.

Up until I got published, the only momentum I had to worry about was my daily writing quota. It was making sure I put the time in on whatever I was working on at the moment. And I would work on that until it was “finished,” at which point I’d turn my attention elsewhere. It’s different now. I can’t work on something and then set it aside and just be done with it. The goals have changed. I’d really like to get another book published and out there for readers, and so projects have to have different priorities. GET CUPID was going to take more work than THE MEMORY THIEF to get it in shape to be submitted to editors, so it took a back seat. And I’m getting some signs of interest on TARNHELM from editors–and selling a book trumps getting one ready for submission, so that would move to the front of the line, too.

Which is all fine in theory, but I know what a pain it can be to plow through a revision, and how easy it is to lose that lovely momentum. Thinking about hitting the brakes on THE MEMORY THIEF so that I can start on TARNHELM, then finishing TARNHELM and picking up on THE MEMORY THIEF, and then finishing that to finally get to the revision of GET CUPID . . .

I can get stressed out.

Which is why that daily writing goal is even more important. Big problems aren’t as big when they’re boiled down to daily goals.

Anyway. That’s where I am right now. And that’s all the blog post I have in me today.

Leave a comment