When Should I Take a Step Back?

by jeanineoloughlin

Sorry for the late posts this week. I have started a new job and was delayed in getting this written up.

Thanks for your patience!

Thinking Through My Fingers

“Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.” – Issac Asimov

Every story has its challenges, but there are some that are more stubborn than others and in those cases you have to be prepared to take a step back and give your mind and the piece some space. Just like any relationship both parties need breathing room to come back to a happy ending.

Sometimes fighting through my “crap draft” just isn’t enough for a piece and I get so frustrated it makes me want to quit. In those cases you might be tempted to just throw out the piece entirely, but I’m a believer in keeping all your writing, even those you have given up on, because you never know when inspiration might strike. I’ll take a couple of days away from it and work on something else then try to come back and see if I can work through it again. I find about 80% of the time this works and I can happily finish the piece. However 20% of the time I find myself right in the same exact position and that means it goes into a folder of unfinished pieces. Most of the time I don’t ever look at it again, but I have on occasion resurrected pieces months or years later OR I’ll even just take parts of the story that worked or I liked and bring them into a new story.

So never be afraid to stop a piece that isn’t working and move on, but don’t throw it out completely. Those ideas may work somewhere else or at another time in your life when your mind is in a better state for the piece you’re working on.

Happy Writing!