Rewriting: When to start all over again

frustrationThis week, my son is on spring break.  That means that last week I had work to get done.  I had to do better than stay caught up. I had to get ahead. 

Yet one piece refused to come together.  I had written my first draft but try as I might, subsequent drafts were no better.  If anything, they were getting worse.  So I did what I often do at times like this.

I started over.

Instead of trying to fix what I had already written, I started a new copy.  When I know what I want to say but can’t seem to get there from where I am, I scrap it all and start anew with a clear destination in sight. 

Tell another writer that you do this, and you might be surprised by their reaction.  I get a lot of cringes.  “But that’s means you’ve wasted all that time.”

Wasted?   No.  It only took me about 20 minutes to create this new draft.   The wasted time was the 2 hours I spent on a rewrite that refused to come together.  

When one way of doing it isn’t working, try something new.  You may be surprised by the results.