Kristen Lamb speaks truth when she says time is the enemy of the writer. If you have followed my blog, you know I have worked in fits and starts on my novel. The manuscript has collected dust for months between writing sessions.
Recently I chose to cloister myself away from life to finish my first novel. It has been a struggle for the exact reason Kristen warns about: loss of momentum, massive re-writing, and sometimes loss of interest in the story because time has passed.
My terrier-like persistence is what keeps me working. Setting a daily quota of words also helps. I set a goal–1,000 words per day–that isn’t too arduous, but makes completion likely within a month. (I don’t write on weekends.)
My advice? Read the following and heed the warning!
Time is the Enemy
When writing anything (but especially fiction) taking time off can kill momentum. We need to go back, reread, familiarize ourselves with the story and characters (since we’ve slept since that last bit we wrote). This can lead to editing the beginning to death and stalls forward progress. We get bogged down in the first part of the book.
Take too much time? Likely, you’ll have to start all over.
I did. Yes, even NF authors are vulnerable to time.
I spent more effort trying to retrofit work I’d done for my agent back in 2011 than I want to admit. Finally, I just tossed most of the writing and started over. 100 pages of wasted work all because I didn’t keep writing.
My mistake. Won’t happen again.