If there is one thing that’s exhilarating in the writing life, it’s when your writing is on a roll! You know, those days when you know exactly what you want to say, you like how you’re saying it, and the words flow and the fingers fly over the keyboard. You’re in the zone!
It’s moments like these that the last thing you want is to slow down, much less stop. Ironically, this is when the worst thing to do may be the best thing to do—STOP—cold. Why?
Ernest Hemingway, one of the most celebrated writers of our time once said, “I always stop at a point where I know precisely what’s going to happen next. So I don’t have to crank it up every day.”
Make sense? Seems counter intuitive, doesn’t it? Stop when you’re on a roll? Really? But think about it. It makes perfect sense because the momentum you cork today will simply be released tomorrow, so you can jump start the day again.
Try it. The next time you’re in the zone and your day is winding down but your thoughts are winding up, stop short of completing your entire idea. Yes, jot down a few notes so you remember exactly where you want to take your story the next day. In the morning, quickly review yesterday’s prose and then jump aboard your “thought train” and ride your momentum.
You might be surprised how far this new energy will carry you. I think you’ll agree that Hemingway was right; when it comes to writing, a great way to start is knowing when (and where) to stop.
The Writer’s Refuge blog is a place for writers, like you, to break away from your daily routine and for just a few minutes find insight, inspiration or simply a word of encouragement.
Blog entries are posted on Thursday.
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