A few days ago someone asked a pretty good question on my regular blog, and I thought I’d bring it over here to answer:
Do you find it difficult to stop writing your current work, and then pick it back up the next day? I mean I realize that a writer writes, and must write if they want to get paid, but is picking a story “back up” the next day something you had to learn? If so, I’d love to know how?
If I’m lucky enough to find it hard to stop writing, I usually don’t until I’ve achieved a phenomenal wordcount. Most of the time that doesn’t happen.
There are a bunch of tricks to picking a story back up. I know people who re-read the previous day’s work, doing edits and revisions before moving on to the new day’s work. I do a little of that, especially if it’s been a while since I’ve worked on something (I’ll usually re-read the whole thing, then). I also know people who will stop in the middle of a sentence so they’ve got something they know how to finish, which gets them writing right away. (That doesn’t work for me. I just forget what I was going to write!) I do like to stop when I know exactly what the next scene needs to do. That gives me a place to pick up. I’ll sometimes leave myself a note in the manuscript so I don’t forget what I think needs to happen. ‘ve talked previously about putting handles on the cups, which is very much a matter of trying to get started or pick up anew each day. I’m sure there are other things I’m not thinking of, too.
In a really ideal situation, the book I’m writing is so compelling that I basically can’t wait to get started writing every day, and so sitting down and getting started isn’t a task. That doesn’t happen very often, and it’s one of the reasons I took Solitaire *off* my writing computer: it’s usually much easier to start playing it than it is to start writing.
What are some other tricks to getting back to the keyboard? Anybody got other clever ideas?