Writers talk about daily goals. Some use number of words, others time at the keyboard. The key seems to be this discipline of steady work.
This is something I didn't understand when I was younger. In my teens and twenties, I wrote when inspiration struck me. I wrote fast and furious, and rarely revised the words for fear of insulting the muse somehow.
It was little surprise that I didn't complete much and what I did write was mediocre.
After a decade long break from writing, where the creative work I did was in raising two sons, I returned to writing in my late 30s, focusing on my first love, poetry. I started writing daily, both keeping a journal and working on poetry, with a passion I had almost forgotten. That was when I stumbled into the world of online workshops and the process of critique and revision. It's where I learned the discipline of regular writing, reviewing, and revising that has served me well in writing novels.
Creative writing is that strange mix of magical creativity and grunt work. A combination of daydreaming and digging ditches, so to speak. With that discipline and practice, I am on track to have completed 5 novels in the past 5 years.
That's all good. But the insanity of the past few weeks in the run up to my son's Bar Mitzvah, I lost my momentum. Instead of writing every day, working toward 1K/day 5K/week goals, at best, I've written several hundred words over the past 2 weeks. It's like pushing a boulder uphill and stopping for a rest, while watching the boulder roll all the way back to the bottom.
The story feels like a set of clothes that no longer fit, to use a different metaphor. I have to find my way back to the heart of the novel and its characters, so I can regain the momentum I have lost.
The good news is I know I can do this. There is a comfort in having completed the novel process from glimmer of idea to the end four times before. I know the work that lies ahead and I look forward to it. It's the best work in the world and I am so fortunate in being able to do it.
If you are a writer, how have you regained momentum?
Happy writing, all!