When you’re working on a new novel, do you find yourself continually wanting to go back and change what you’ve already written, rather than move forward to write a new section? I hate this, but I can’t seem to stop doing it. Here are some crazy ideas I have to break the habit:
1. Pay one of your kids check on you to make sure you’re not backtracking, with instructions to whine loudly if they find out you’re cheating.
2. Put an alarm clock next to your computer and set it to go off after about 20 minutes (to shake you out of editing mode ).
3. Password protect the previous day’s file and have a family member choose (and hide) the password. Start each day in a new file.
4. Put a strip of paper with a description for each of your planned scenes into an empty mug. Stir. Pick one each day for your starting point. If they’re not sequential, you’re less likely to edit what you’ve already written before you start writing.
5. Write down the plan for what to write next before quitting for the day. Then you won’t need to read over the previous part to get going again.