The best advice I’ve ever heard Ernest Hemingway give is the advice I personally swear by. He said,
“The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you are writing a novel you will never be stuck.”
If you’ve scheduled your writing time for two hours, then stick to two hours—even if you’re on a roll. Leave the rest to simmer in your mind and two things will happen:
- 1. You’ll be excited and anxious for your next writing session and are a lot less likely to let anything stand in your way, and—
- 2. You’ll know exactly what to write about so that the second your fingers hit the keyboard, you’ll be writing. Your session will be productive and fun.
Why is this true? Most writers go astray in their storytelling when they’re fatigued. The critical sensibilities turn off, and they end up taking their story in the wrong direction. This is the most common cause of writer’s block.
But a second reason for writer’s block comes when an author loses excitement at the thought of writing on a project.
By making sure that you come to that project knowing what you want to do and ready to write, you’ll keep yourself motivated.
I firmly believe that if you follow this advice, you’ll accomplish much more than you thought you could. Not more than I thought you could—but then, I believe each of you has a bestseller inside of you. Why don’t you go write it?