My 'ah ha' moment came in 1981, when I sat down to write my first novel, CATCALL and realized that if I didn't start it then I might never start it. I worked on it from April until August, then set it aside for a while to think about it and do rewriting in my mind.
I finally finished it in Oct. of that year, and with the help of a fellow writer, sent it off to many agents in NYC. Needless to say I got a lot of rejection slips: It's a nice story but not what we're looking for. So I put it on the back burner, but wrote two other novels, a book of poetry, and a book of short stories.
In '97 I moved to Bryce Canyon NP for the season, so as I was living at a friend's house, I put my belongings in storage. Long story short, someone broke into my storage and stole all my stuff, writings, art work, all personal items. Needless to say I was devastated and didn't write again for a number of years.
But CATCALL remained on my mind, and in '05, I started rewriting that story figuring if I didn't do it then I wouldn't do any writing for the rest of my life. I self-published CATCALL in '09, and went on to write THE HIKE, which I published in '11. I am currently working on book of short stories, but can not recall of the ones I'd previously written. but that's alright, the important thing is I'm writing.
Any tips? Each writer could gain insight by being organized. While I don't do outlines, per se, I do write by hand a lengthy synopsis of what each character was doing in that chapter. This saves me time by not having to go back to a certain chapter for reference if I needed to, say, remember what Lexi, Leni, and the girls were talking about in Chapter 1, or which guys were doing what in Chapter 4. This saves me an immense amount of time so I don't have to re-read a chapter to recall a pertinent piece of info.