It’s important to be able to stop working for the day
Sigh, am hard at work revising a book. Happy I have the time to really sink into it and work on it. I like the book, and I think revision is going well. But in the typical manner of revision, I keep finding new problems the more I work on the book.
Today I got pretty far in revisions, but then I realized that, partly as a result of this round of revisions, the stakes of the book were too low. So now I need to think about how to fix that. And it’s a little frustrating. I only realized this problem at 1 or 2 PM, and it’d be really simple to obsess about it, futzing around with the text for the rest of the day. But I’m not gonna do that, because today I said I’d stop work at 2, and to me it’s important to stick to those resolutions.
Too many people go crazy about writing and chain themselves to their desks for days on end. They type and type but don’t end up accomplishing much that’s of worth. And in the meantime they poison the rest of their lives, ignoring their friends and families and other work responsibilities.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe in working. But I also believe in letting work go. There comes a point in every day when you’ve got to say, “I’m gonna leave it until tomorrow.” And when it comes to writing, I think that point is sooner than a lot of people think.