As children, we’re taught that quitting is bad. We grow up believing that quitting is somehow associated with failure. The truth is, only through learning how to quit successfully can we discover how to evolve as writers and, ultimately, succeed.
Ask yourself this: How many times did you have to stop doing something because it didn’t work, only to discover a marvelous solution moments later? You wouldn’t have found this solution if you had insisted on banging your head against the proverbial wall.
Here’s another example, funnier and even more revealing: Imagine you’re driving in an unfamiliar area and, taking a wrong turn, you find yourself on a dead-end street. Would you wait there for a magic portal to suddenly appear so you could continue driving? Obviously not; it’s absurd.
The truth is, we quit things all the time and don’t even think about it much. That’s because quitting—at the right time, the right way, and for the right reasons—is an integral part of success.
Why should a writing project be any different?
Quitting a writing project can be what stands between you and the fulfillment of your writing aspirations. That is, as long as it’s done properly. And so, in this post, I won’t be telling you not to quit; I’ll show you why, when, and how to quit a writing project, in a way that actually brings you closer to success.Continue reading
Every one of us has our own insecurities to grapple with; it’s human nature. Writers are no exception, but there’s something unique about having writing insecurities: They affect the process more directly than for other professionals.
A carpenter might feel insecure about the quality of their work, and a bus driver is perhaps insecure regarding their societal contribution—though consider whom you need more: bus drivers or stockbrokers?
To be sure, insecurity in any profession can be damaging and affect one’s concentration, but as long as the numbers add up and the vehicle is moving, a carpenter and a bus driver can function, and the process still gets done.
An insecure writer can’t function.Continue reading
Many authors use writing software for their work. Such programs come in various types and pricings, serving different purposes depending on the writer’s needs.
For example, fiction authors might use programs for narrative or character development, as nonfiction authors might use programs to help them create indexes or references. Both fiction and nonfiction authors use writing software to help them keep notes or structure their text.
And let’s not forget writers who mostly work with online texts, and might also use software designed to assist with SEO, keywords, or readability.
Unless you’re really old school and use a typewriter, at the most basic level virtually all of us use a computer and a word processor. This counts as writing software, even if we take it for granted.
But as with every tool, although it can greatly help you get the job done…
…it can also hurt you if you misuse it.Continue reading
Let’s face it, few authors are happy when text is edited out. Though they might recognize the need to remove it, and therefore be happy with the overall result, leaving text out feels like some sort of waste — a betrayal even.
“But I spent time writing this!” you’re telling yourself. “How can I let it go?”
In the context of editing, “kill your darlings” is apt advice. It indicates that editing should be approached as objectively as possible. However, what you rarely hear is that text is immortal. You can remove it from a certain post, novel, or essay, but that doesn’t mean the text is lost forever.
Text you had to let go during an editing round still exists and it’s still available to you.
In this post I’ll share with you five ways in which you can reuse text that was edited out. Doing that has two major benefits: Not only do you get to use your text somewhere else, where it’s better-suited, but it also makes the editing process smoother. It’s much easier to let go of text if you know that it’s not really gone.
Never refuse to reuse, as they say!Continue reading