I’m not in a position to teach anyone how to be a successful writer, but I can share an experience that corroborates advice I have often been given but somehow never managed to accept.
A few weeks ago, I had a great idea for a story. I started to work right away. I couldn’t not work on it. I had to do the work. It didn’t matter if the story was coming out left, right or upside down. I just needed to get the words that were inside moved to the outside. Things were going well. Words were piling up, and the story was moving forward.
Then I got sick. Then work got busy. Then I got frustrated. I lost the story.
The story is still there. I still intend to write it, but the urgency is gone. It bled out in those few quiet days when I was not writing. The story was happening. It was real. It was urgent. And then it was gone.
When you start a piece of writing, start it quick. Don’t think too much. Don’t ponder or plot too long. Don’t hit the snooze bar in the morning, and, for God’s sake, don’t stop.