Don’t let writing consume your life.

So you’re writing, you have a great idea and you want to get the whole thing down while it’s fresh in your mind. It’s perfect and if you don’t write it down right now, you’ll lose it. I get it, I’ve been there. There is certainly nothing wrong with taking that moment to get that info down, but the problem with great ideas like your initial one is that they tend to branch.

Soon one awesome idea becomes 3 awesome ideas and then those also branch out into 4 or 5 of their own. The next thing you know, you’ve blown through several hours. Your partner is yelling at you because you haven’t done your chores or paid attention to them. You’ve neglected your responsibilities, even though you didn’t mean to.

It happens, and it’s a difficult habit to break. What’s even more difficult is learning to pull yourself away and say ‘enough is enough.’ I know it may seem like that one great idea is the be all, end all, and you’ll never think of anything that great again… but you will. The fact is that some of the best writing I’ve done is when I passed up seemingly great ideas and then came up with even better ones. Creative juices do not stop flowing. They may ebb, or even slow to a trickle, but they never stop. You’ll get that rush again, and before long, you’ll be steaming out another few chapters.

Remember, when in doubt, the book can wait. Your characters are fictional, off living their own lives, or dead (depending on fiction or non-fiction), so it doesn’t matter if you get everything down today or tomorrow. What does matter are the people right in front of you wanting to spend time with you. It may mean that you will take a lot longer to finish your book, but in the end it really is the better way.

Oh, and for those of you who will respond that your writing is your life…

PUT YOUR PEN OR COMPUTER DOWN, NOW!!! Put it down, go outside and go do something, anything else. Meet up with friends, go on a date, or if you have a family, take them out somewhere. Stay away from writing at least for a little while. You’ll be better off, believe me.

Thanks friends, catch you on the flip side,
Jim

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