Line of sight is important in the game of golf. Even the experts hit balls out of bounds. Without a true line of sight to the ball's resting place, one can spend a long time searching for a golf ball.
Writing is like that too. If I don't have a clear line of sight to my goal, I tend to meander around. I have a goal of what I want to accomplish with each book, each chapter and each scene. But sometimes I get distracted with life and lose sight of where my book was headed. When this happens I tend to flail around, as if I'm swinging a seven-iron in long grass.
The trouble is that I've lost sight of my story because of going in too many other directions. There's nothing to be done but take the time to reacquaint myself with the story, which feels like a waste of time because new pages aren't being generated, but sometimes you have to go backward to move forward.
If I know I'm going to be waylaid by life, I try to jot down some jump-start notes to remind me of where I'm headed and where I've just been. That gives me a frame of reference and helps re-establish that all important line of sight.
double finalist, National Reader's Choice Awards