You have a story idea and you start writing. Maybe you get a few pages done or a few chapters and then life happens. Instead of writing every day and really getting through your draft you find that you’re doing laundry, going to work, and prioritizing everything except your book. This happens at every stage of the book. For me, it usually happens when I’m about 75 percent finished. But it can happen right when you get started too. There are very real dangers to allowing yourself to dawdle.
#1 You Lose Your Story
When you sit down to write your story idea or characters are solid in your imagination. You have a vision and it translates directly from your brain to your keyboard. (I’m not saying there won’t be bumps in the road but it’s easier to write when the idea is solid in your brain.)
If you let time pass between pages then the story idea and the essence that took place in your imagination, slips away. It can fade or it can be replaced by different ideas. You lose your original and true story. The same is true for characters. If your story idea was originally inspired by a character, they can lose their oomph and voice if you walk away from your story for too long.
#2 You Lose Your Passion
The energy you have for your first draft is unlike any other writing energy. It’s vital and it keeps your fingers on the keyboard and your heart pumping. When you step away from your story for more than a few days, you can lose that energy and enthusiasm. You forget what you loved so much about your story. It’s sad really but it happens.
#3 You Get Out of Practice
It’s no secret that I am a firm believer in writing every day. Others disagree and that’s just fine. However, if you take too much time away from writing your romance novel your writing muscles will atrophy. You don’t get better unless you practice. And while writing may be like writing a bike, remember how you feel when you get on a bike after a few years away. It’s awkward and uncomfortable and it takes a bit for it all to come back. This is lost time.
Please don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of taking days off, taking vacations, and letting ideas ruminate. However, if you take too long and you dawdle on your romance manuscript it’s going to suffer. What is “too long”? In my opinion if you set your book aside for a week or more, you’re losing momentum.
Get working on your romance novel! Even if you only write a few words a day, it’s better than not writing at all.