Writing Tip: Don’t Find a Good Stopping Place

Everyone advises new writers to write every day. That was a tip you read here–if not first, at least early on. If you have difficulty getting down to writing, find a time when you can write every day–get up a bit earlier, use half of your lunch hour, use your commute (assuming you aren’t driving!), take the time right after the kids are in bed–whatever works for you. It can be as little as half an hour a day. During that time, write. Never take you fingers off the keyboard–or the pen off the yellow pad. And at the end of that time, stop. Do not worry about where you are, just stop.

If you stop in the middle of a scene, a paragraph, even in the middle of a sentence, that’s a good thing. When you take it up again, you have a built-in prompt: just finish what you started and keep going. There is no need to prime the pump. This works best if you do write every day.

The problem with finding a good stopping place is the inertia working against getting started again. By definition, a good stopping place means that something is about to change. Finding the new direction can overwhelm the impetus to write.

Bottom line: stop in the middle of something.


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