March 13, 2012

A Body at Rest Tends to Stay at Rest

So yesterday I started writing again. Vacation + sickness means no writing, but taking that kind of break can make it hard to get started again. I compare it to a cold engine. It's hard to get the thing to turn over once it's been sitting still for awhile. Writing is definitely like this. I have some friends who are beginning their first efforts into writing and others who are renewing their efforts after a long hiatus. The same thing seems to happen. They begin with their first chapter, maybe the second, maybe even the third, and then they invariably stop. Something somewhere in what few words they've written isn't "right." They stop and like so many before them, they no longer continue forward.

I know some professionals edit as they go along, but for new authors, I always think this is a bad idea. Newtonian physics apply to writing as much as they do to bodies in motion, I think. Unless acted upon by an outside force, forward motion begets forward motion. Keep writing and you will write more and more until you have a finished novel.

Yesterday I think I managed only a few hundred words--and by few I mean 500 at best out of two hours on a train. I was tired and completely out of the habit of writing. Today, I wrote on the morning train (1300) words and again at lunch (1200) words. It feels great. It feels like my engine is finally warmed up. And it feels like I am in motion. As long as I keep writing, I will remain in motion.

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