The importance of momentum

The Boy had a bad guitar lesson today.

It wasn’t just bad. It was awful. Crying and screaming were involved. My husband took him to his lesson so that I could stay home and do laundry (ah, the glamorous life of a writer) and do some writing. (I opted to catch up on sleep instead.) While I was folding clothes, I got several text messages from my husband updating me on what was happening during the lesson.

Not good news at all.

We let him skip a lesson last week so that we could go to Sea World for their Just for Kids weekend. We saw the Imagination Movers a few weeks ago, which was a treat for all of us, so we figured we’d see the Kratt Brothers last week.

Bad idea.

The problem with letting him taking a break from something like, say, guitar lessons, is that he lost momentum. Even though he practiced every single day, he still needed that accountability in the form of checking in with his teacher.

I’ve discovered I have the same issue when it comes to writing. I began work on my next manuscript on Wednesday. It wasn’t an optimal day to start it, as I haven’t been sleeping well, but when inspiration strikes, you kind of have to just run with it.

Yesterday, I contemplated taking the night off, but I didn’t. I set a daily goal of 1,750 words for myself, but I failed fell short of that on Thursday, and I knew that taking the day off would have meant I had that I would have much more catch up work to do. I didn’t achieve my goal yesterday, either (I didn’t even crack 1,000 words), but I feel like it will be easier to make up this deficit than if I didn’t work on it at all.

After all, one day off would lead to two, and two would become a week, and the next thing you know, a few months would pass before I looked at this work in progress and said, “What is this, and where was I going with it?”

So, just as The Boy won’t be allowed a break from practice or lessons, I have to hold myself to the same standards and keep up, as well.

I can rest between manuscripts. I can’t afford to lose momentum now.

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2 comments

    • E.M.

      It totally wasn’t you! I’ve been struggling to get into my main character’s head, and Chapter 2 was just starting to feel a little forced. I finally worked through it and finally finished Chapter 3 today, so I’m in a better place with my WIP now, albeit 3,000 words behind goal as I type this.

      So no – it totally wasn’t you! =)

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