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The Case for Not Finishing What You Start

1st February 2013 Posted in Blog, Writing 0 Comments

Image for Avoiding Writer Burn Out Post

When you’re tapping away at your desk on an assignment, you might want (or need) to finish the article as quickly as possible.  But if you’re not on a deadline, you may want to think about stopping midsentence and closing up your work for the day.

But why do that?

Most of the time, writing advice will tell you to keep going and going and going until you have nothing more to say.  When you’re doing that all the time, you’re going to burn out and you’re going to sit down at your desk and find you have nothing else to say.

However, when you stop yourself in the middle of a thought, you have a starting point for the next day’s work.  You get a little push for your creative mind, a nudge that will keep your momentum from stopping in between work sessions.

Here are some other ways you can stop in the middle (without losing your edge):

  • Walk away – Take a few minutes and walk away mid-sentence.  Get away from your computer and let go of what you’re doing. 
  • Start something else – While this isn’t the best advice for everyone, those who have overly active minds (and many writers do) find that switching gears can help to rejuvenate a project.  Start another project, work on it for a period of time, and then move back to your current project.

When you’re writing for a living, you need to make sure you’re always generating content, even when you don’t feel like it.  Sometimes, it’s not about starting and pushing yourself to the edge.  Perhaps you can take a break, and your writing can be better for it.

(And you will too.)

What writing tips do you have to share? Please leave a comment.

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