You can do everything right. You’re in the right head space. You sit down to write and then –BOOM! – you find yourself drifting off on some day-dream that has nothing to do with the story your writing. What happened? You did so well yesterday and thought you would be ready for the next, but nothing seems to be happening. You stare at the words you wrote yesterday, but nothing else is flowing.
I used to waste a lot of time trying to get back into the flow of the story. Try as I could, sometimes I couldn’t get back the magic that I had the previous day. Sometimes I could push through and get some good work in. Other times, I stayed lost and I resigned myself to getting something written, even something bad.
But a while ago (like 15 years or so), I learned a trick to keep the bad days of writing at bay. (Most of them. I still have a few.) I’ve used this idea consistently and it never lets me down.
I always end my writing day in the middle of a sentence.
If I do this, I always have an easier time finding my way back into the head space of a story. It’s like a pause in the middle of a thought, a metaphorical breadcrumb to the story, that I can restart again by reading back the words I wrote the day before.
I’m not one of those marathon writers that sits for 12-18 hours hammering out story. My brain shuts down around 8 pm. I have a day job. I need to work out and eat food and sleep. Life stuff. So I pause my thoughts a lot when I write. It’s so much easier the next day when I pick up the story. I finish the sentence and then, I usually write another one.
And another. And another…
The only time this fails is when I complete the story. No more sentences to finish. My work around now is to have multiple projects going. If I finish one, I have something else that can be finished. If I get a new idea, I can start that. I always get a new idea. Ideas, as you may have heard, are cheap and plentiful. Completed stories are much more rare.
I find this trick gets me writing every time. Gets me to the finish line. Gets me to my goals.
Good luck and happy writing.