How to Know When to Put Something Aside

Sometimes a piece of wrting simply refuses to come together.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

The horrible reality is that not everything you write is going to be published. For example, this is not my first post written for Thursday. The first one is languishing in my drafts file here on WordPress. There are 3 times that I find myself have to put a piece of writing aside.

The Tone is Wrong

The piece that I started for today was on evaluating the information that you find online. Sadly it went from a solid piece of advice to a grey mess. The tone was simply all wrong.

The reality is that 9 times out of 10, a positive tone is going to work better than a negative tone. It is a lot like the advice my grandmother always gave out that you could catch more flies with honey than vinegar. If you can’t find a way to give your reader hope, you may want to sit on the piece for a while.

Not every piece can be hopeful but sometimes you need to put a bit more effort into it.

And part of the reason for this is that we are navel gazing – another handy phrase from my grandmother. She used this one when she wanted to tell you that you were self-absorbed.

When you are writing a piece because something makes you angry, you are probably putting a really negative spin on things. After all, you’re angry. It is natural. And the writing may help you work your way through it but that doesn’t make it a sound piece of writing. It is more of a journal entry.

The Missing Ending

Then there is the missing ending. You’ve got an excellent hook. The body is sound. But then it all just . . . drifts off into nothing. You have no clue how to tie things together neatly. Personally, this just means that I need to spend more time processing it.

And when I find the ending, I also find a way to give the reader hope and show them how to use X, Y or Z in their own life.

Set your problem piece aside for now. With a bit of space from it, you may well find that when you return to it the solution is oh so obvious.


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