Just keep writing
If I’m working on a novel, I try to write every single day. It may not be much, but it’s seven days a week. I think that by writing quickly you inject pace. If a book is written quickly, it tends to be a quick read as well. My first draft will be very rough, but it won’t take me much more than 30 or 40 days. I remember one writer that I met couldn’t start chapter two until he got chapter one just right. That’s just not how I work. My rule is to just get the thing down on paper. Even if there are mistakes, misjudgments, I’ll ignore that and know that I can go back later. I remember I was talking with an agent one time. He asked how things were going and I said they were going great, but that I was just about to take a break because I have to research this one thing. He said no, no – just make a note to yourself to do the research later and keep writing. I save a lot of time these days by doing the bulk of the research between the first and the second draft. Research can be a rabbit hole and you don’t come out for weeks. Once you have a first draft, you know what you need and that saves a lot of time.
Five habits that led to Ian Rankin’s success as a fiction crime writer - The Globe and Mail (via alexsegura)
It must be really nice to have an agent read your work and pick out the things that need fixing. But he might not be wrong about research.
research is indeed a rabbit hole for me & i have to take pains to stop doing it at some point or I would never write anything.
the turning point in writing Rebel Rebel (which I got bogged down on severely in 2012) was giving up on the last 2 chapters, doing a heap of fresh research, then going back to Ch. 1. that finally did the trick.