When the Going Gets Tough, Walk Away, And ROW80

Sometimes, you get stuck on a project. You’ve tried powering through, you’ve tried researching possible solutions, you’ve tried banging your head on the keyboard (or whatever), and you get to a point where the only thing left to do is walk away.

And this can be the best thing to do. I don’t mean permanently, but just take a break and go do something else. Later, I’ll usually come back to the first project with an a-ha solution to whatever was blocking me!

This is something I’ve internalized years ago at the day job (I am a web developer), and it works for other things, too–graphic design projects, sewing, even restoring a car (my husband’s current hobby project). This week, I was reminded that it’s great for the writing, too.

The “something else” we walk away to doesn’t even need to be something entirely different–it can be a different project of the same type. A different web development project, a different part of the garment I’m constructing, a different part of the car in restoration–or a different story.

I didn’t think I could work on two stories at once, but I tried it yesterday, and my wordcount added up fabulously fast!

It might be because the project I switched to is related to the primary project–a short story in the same world, and almost functions as a subplot, so while it was different, it wasn’t too different.

So I met the writing portion of my ROW80 goals by doing something seemingly counterproductive–by walking away.

ROW80Logo175Here’s how the rest went:

  • 12,000 words on WIP: split between 2 WIPs, but I’m calling this one Done!
  • Review video lessons for Promotions workshop first three weeks and take notes: partial–got through 2-1/2 weeks.
  • Refine layout of Shopping Cart page for family member’s web site: Partial–worked on it, but it’s not quite finished.
  • Fitness 4 times, no matter how short: Done!

Here’s what’s up for this week:

  • Finish out NaNoWriMo by writing 11,000 words on either story or both
  • Review remaining lessons for Promotions workshop
  • Finish Shopping Cart and Checkout pages for website
  • Fitness 4 times, even if short
  • Survive Thanksgiving–yes, it’s that time! And yes, I’m hosting, but this won’t be difficult, as my family is small and others contribute.

What about you–have you had to “walk away” from a project lately? Did you come back to it with renewed vigor and ideas? If you’re doing NaNoWriMo, are you on track to hit 50,000 words by Saturday? If you’re in the U.S., what are your plans for Thanksgiving? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.


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