2. Take A Break
Writers are very stubborn people. We will work on something until we no longer enjoy it or make ourselves frustrated when things aren’t working. Then we double down and try to force the work, which just makes the situation worse. Causing us to eventually abandoned the project. You know what’s the easiest way to fix this issue? You guessed it: taking a break.
Taking a break allows you to cool off, reevaluate the problems at hand, and come up with a better plan. This is great advice for writing and life. Clearing your head is the best way to solve problems. When you become a ball of stress, you’re wound far too tight to solve problems effectively. When it comes to solving difficult problems in your writing and in life, listen to your editor when they tell you to sleep on it.
1. Know What The Payoff Is
At some point in your writing career you’ll transition from writing for fun to writing with purpose. It could be for monetary reasons, for publication, or to win contests. Whatever the reason, you’re writing with a specific payoff in mind. You’ll write certain things with specific reasons in place. And if something doesn’t work and serves no ultimate purpose, you’ll give it away for free or trash it. You’re not wasting anymore precious energy or time on it.
The same goes for problems in your life. If something has no payoff and can’t be solved in a meaningful way, abandon it. There’s no point in wasting time on something that has no real solution. Here’s an example: you get in a fight with your spouse over them seeing a movie without you. There’s no rectifying this situation. You can go see the movie yourself, but it doesn’t change the fact they already saw it. They can apologize, but that’s as far as things will go. This type of battle is completely meaningless and has no payoff. It’s not worth your time.
Unfortunately, we tend to get into these useless squabbles all of the time. Or rather, we find ourselves in situations that have no payoff. Like an author trying to rewrite a story everyone already knows; there’s no point in wasting time on something that won’t change anything.
So, as much as it might hurt your ego or pride, it’s usually better to just let these kinds of things go than obsess over them. After all, does it matter if you get the last word in an argument with your wife? Does it help anything to nag your husband over something insignificant that happened two weeks ago? The old adage is “choose your battles wisely.” And that’s true. But at the same time, do you even have to battle in the first place? Or are you happier solving problems that actually matter?
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