In my first year of college, I knew I was going to declare English as my major. I was the student who couldn't wait to get to the campus bookstore to buy the many books I would have to read each semester. And of course, I couldn't just read all of those wonderful books; I had to write about them. I remember sitting down to write my first college-level, 10-page paper on The Iliad.
Let's just say my first draft wasn't a winner. My professor for that class taught me a valuable lesson about writing -- one that I continue to practice today.
He told me to walk away from my writing. Not just once, but as many times as possible. His point was that you must always look at your writing with fresh, critical eyes. And it's more effective to do that after you've gained some distance between yourself and your work.
Once you walk away, it is easier to follow another important piece of advice I received: don't fall in love with anything you write. When you come back to your writing after creating some space, it's easier to "break-up" with content that just doesn't work.
So force yourself to walk away from your writing -- even if you only have time to do it once. You'll likely come back to it with a new perspective that will have a meaningful impact on your final product.
Image courtesy of chrisroll / FreeDigitalPhotos.net