In an interview with a family friend, the writer Roald Dahl revealed his secret for keeping a momentum going when writing a book. Every day Dahl would stop writing when the writing was going well, not when he got stuck.
This was a trick the legendary author Ernest Hemingway had shared with his British colleague. According to Dahl, Hemingway would say, “When you are going good, stop writing.”
When Hemingway was working on a chapter he would eventually come to a point where he realized exactly how he was going to finish it. At this point, he knew the hard part was over. From that point on the words were practically going to write themselves.
Hemingway could have continued with the writing. Finished the chapter. Felt a great sense of accomplishment.
But he would have not known how to continue the next day. Coming back to the typewriter would have been scary. There was a blank page waiting and Hemingway had no idea what to do with it.
Instead, Hemingway forced himself to stop writing.
Coming back to the typewriter the next day was not scary. In fact, it was the opposite. He had been fighting the urge to stay away from it for almost a full day.
There was exciting work waiting for Hemingway. As there would be the next time he walked away from his typewriter.