June 12th, 2017
These are wise and applicable words for many areas of life – including writing (believe it or not). When it comes to writing, the time to walk away (and maybe even run) is when you’re working on a piece of writing that just. isn’t. flowing.
It happens to the best of us (including me – ALL the time) and, when it does, it’s tempting to persevere in the name of getting the $#@% thing done – but this is actually the worst thing you can do.
Continuing to write in this state almost always results in wheel spinning, wasted time, and a crappy piece of writing. This is because writer’s block (or writer’s frustration, if you prefer) is a sign that your brain is WAY out of its creative state – where it needs to be to write well – and operating from its (but far less fun and creative) side instead.
(In case you’re interested: your brain truly does have two distinct sides. Only one can be in control at a time. You want your creative brain in the driver’s seat when you write, and your logical brain to kick in when you edit. The trouble is, as I said, the logical brain is waaaay bossier – think your Type-A big sister – and tends to take over when it has no business doing so. Interesting, eh?)
If you need to, stay at your desk and shift your focus to another work-related task. But if you can, it’s even better to remove yourself physically from your computer and get moving.
Every SINGLE time I do this, I return feeling inspired, creative, and ready to write. My (not so scientific) rationale for why this works? I believe the mind continues to mull things over in the background and, without the pressure to perform, is able to sort itself out and make sense of things.
A fresh desk ‘session’ also majorly increases the chances your creative brain will be back in the driver’s seat.
So try it next time – it may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s a time-saving (and frustration-saving) tip that’ll make for better copy! Want more tips like these? Hop on my mailing list and I’ll send ’em right to your inbox!