Back away from the laptop

I had one of those lightbulb moments yesterday afternoon!

I had taken a copy of my latest writing assignment to work hoping that I would have an opportunity at lunch time to do some editing. I had been struggling with the ending for a couple of days and especially needed some inspiration in that area.

So, after heating up my standard cardboard lunch (aka lean cuisine) I settled down with a pencil and began to go through it. As I read through it making changes here and there, I realized that reading it on a piece of paper was different than reading it on a computer screen. Somehow, my mind seems to process it differently. The coup de grace was the inspiration that hit me in the side of the head in the form of a great conclusion!

Sometimes I get so obsessed about finishing a task, that I forget about the value of stepping away for a while in order to gain fresh perspective. I've had to learn this lesson many times, and it appears that I will continue to revisit this one for a while longer.

5 comments:

Angie Ledbetter said...

Oh-so-important to let work simmer, then attack with fresh eyes later for editing/tweaking. Reading on hard copy is a MUST for me. WTG!

Pat's Place said...

Someone once told me to finish my story and then "sleep on it" for 3 nights before working on it some more. Works for me.

Carmen Gamble said...

That is so true! It does "compute" differently on paper than on the screen. In an instant world...it's hard to leave it be for a bit...but like you, I seem to need a reminder of that now and again.

Michele said...

I am a musician and I go through the same thing with my music. There are lightbulb moments and then I change direction and later in time find myself discovering something I had already been through before. I also must leave it and come back to it with fresh eyes if I really want to fine tune it. Also, like an author, the final draft is never quite finished; there's always room for revision. I'd really like to to start writing now that I'm retired. Maybe that's why I've started following some blogs of writers. I don't have much experience but really am interested in exploring this.

Kathryn Magendie said...

It is SO true about reading it on screen vs on paper - I always print out my stuff after editing it onscreen and then edit it again on paper...an entirely different perspective!