staying committed to a piece of writing

Never Be Married To Your Writing

When I would be forced to be in a group edit (almost worse than a group project) throughout college, it was always a struggle.

These are basically when you sit down with other writing majors and all edit each other's work in a small group.

After slaving over the words on the page and hitting the needed word count, the thought of deleting any of it and starting over made me WAY too anxious because in my mind I'd have to slave over more words again.

Unfortunately, it took me until after college to understand the famous quote:

The only kind of writing is rewriting. - Ernest Hemingway

It's hard to highlight a bunch of text and hit delete because you know it's not working.

Through a lot of practice I've finally gotten to a place where I can select a whole bunch of text and hit the delete button without feeling like a part of my soul just went with it.

Sometimes your original idea just doesn't work and there's such a fine line between being stubborn with an idea (Think: JK Rowling pitching Harry Potter over and over) and knowing when your idea needs to take a break.

Sometimes you just have to trust your gut.

Sometimes you just have to keep working on a piece for yourself. (I have one fun screenplay about zombies and a pair of badass sisters that Hollywood would never touch for a second, but it brought me out of a THREE YEAR writing funk I couldn't shake.)

Sometimes there are pieces that are just fun to work on.

At the same time, there are creatives who struggle endlessly because they're married to an idea and refuse to give up on it.

They have that one book/movie/TV show/other piece of art and they cannot move past it because they swear it's the next Casablanca. It hurts them every single day and they are crushed by the rejection.

These are ridiculously talented people who just need to work on the next idea that might work instead of spending years trying to pitch something that isn't selling.

For me, if anything starts to make me feel horrible all the time (a business, an idea, a blog post, etc), it's time to mix it up.

By never staying married to your content and ideas, you're able to move around freely. Always keep your work in case an opportunity comes up around the corner, but staying loyal to it and being Ride or Die until the end doesn't make sense.

As a creative, do what works for you. If you feel unhappy, don't force it like I've stupidly done throughout my career. Figure out what's lacking and what you need.

Always keep listening to your gut above everything else.