“Now, where was I?”
Most folks dislike being interrupted. Finding your place in that column of figures you were adding. Wondering whether you were just about to add the salt, or just added the salt. Might as well start the joke over from the beginning because you aren’t sure where you left off.
With a non-fiction book, momentum is a good idea. With fiction, it’s vital. One reason to write every day, even a few sentences, is to keep the story rolling in your mind. The thread of story, the creative process, is tenuous at times. We’ve all experienced the brilliant thought we were sure we’d remember but which evaporated, leaving only a stain.
Your characters, real as they feel sometimes, aren’t. If you don’t see your buddy Clem for a week, he’s still the same person when you see him again. When you don’t write about your character Percival for a week, his verbal patterns, sense of humor, or knowledge of his circumstances and environment can drift off course.
Your hand is on the tiller of your story’s semblance of reality. Any sailor will tell you that letting go at the wrong moment will lead to disaster.
They’ll also tell you it takes long years of experience to know whether or not this is the wrong moment.
Keep that story rollin’ and let mental momentum keep your characters in character, your threads woven tightly, and, as a side benefit, your spirit tied up in your art.
Tomorrow: sure, you need a break. But your momentum asks, when?