Posted by: devonellington | February 8, 2016

Staying Excited About the Work

One of the hardest tasks early career writers have is finishing what they start.

You have to finish, for several reasons.

If it’s not finished, it can’t be edited or submitted or go out and earn its keep.

If it’s not finished, it drains creative energy from the other projects you’re juggling.

Every project you write will hit some sort of bump in the road – whether it’s a wrong track for a few pages or an absolute wall. If you expect to succeed, you have to learn how to work around blocks and continue.

Sometimes, it means moving to a different project for awhile. If you do so, set a definite date and/or time to go back to the original project and DO IT.

Sometimes, taking a walk or a shower (I get many of my best breakthroughs in the shower).

Other times, it’s interacting with other writers. Whether it’s in a writing group, or a critique partner, or in a workshop/retreat/conference, tossing around ideas with other writers is a great way to figure out how to get past “stuck.”

Maybe they faced the same obstacles, and their experiences will help you. Or maybe just a fresh perspective will give you the jump start you need.

This doesn’t just pertain to writers – artists, actors, business people – whatever it is you’re working on, finding people who understand what you’re trying to do and have your best interests at heart will help you succeed.

It takes time and experience to find people, and some of them will move in and out of your life.

But finding them, and having a healthy give-and-take (which means you help them when they need it, not expecting everything to be one way), will keep you excited about your work and bring it to a new level.

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Responses

  1. “It takes time and experience to find people, and some of them will move in and out of your life.”

    Although I’ve been quiet over the past couple of years, Devon, you’re probably one of the people that has consistently influenced my approach to writing since I “met” you 12 years ago. Thank you.

  2. I’m glad I could help! I’ve deeply valued your friendship and insight over these years.


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