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When to persevere and when to let go: Editor's Notes #362
April 06, 2022

Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength.
However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go
and then do it.

—Ann Landers

In this issue:

1. When to persevere and when to let go
2. Tickled my funny bone
3. Interesting Web site
4. Writing prompt

1.When to persevere and when to let go
Worthwhile things are often difficult, maybe even usually difficult. Writers in general believe that writing is worthwhile. It follows, then, that sometimes, writing is difficult, or some aspects of writing are difficult. Advice to those facing difficulty tends to fall into two camps: persevere and let go. The problem is knowing when to choose one over the other.

Here are five things to consider if you are torn between persevering and letting go.

Worthiness. Is what you are doing adding value, whether to your life or the lives of others in your opinion? And it’s your opinion that counts in this calculation. If you see no redeeming value in what you are doing, maybe you are spending time on the wrong project. On the other hand, if you see potential for good to come from what you are doing, persevering may make sense.

Return on investment. This is another way to think of worth. Investment can be time or money. Are you getting enough back from your time or your money to make what you are doing worth the effort? The return does not have to be monetary, and it does not have to create time. But unless there is something in it for you or someone you care about, consider letting go.

Progress. If you are making even a minuscule amount of progress, consider choosing perseverance. You never know when there will be a sudden breakthrough. There is special joy in succeeding at a difficult task. On the other hand, if you have done everything you can, and you do not see progress, not even a little, consider letting go.

Joy. Difficult things can make us tired. There is a difference between being tired and joyful or uplifted and being tired and discouraged or full of dread. How much joy you feel can signal whether to persevere.

Pause. Finally, you can avoid the choice between perseverance and letting go by calling a temporary halt. Taking a break allows a person to take stock, to evaluate the situation from a bit of distance. Instead of letting go for all time, try putting a project aside. The break you take may rekindle your vision or show you another direction altogether. In either case, know that you are moving forward.

2.Tickled my funny bone
There is no excuse for laziness, but I’m still looking.

3. Interesting Web site
If you’ve decided to persevere in a difficult task, here are some suggestions to help you on your way.

4. Writing prompt
Two characters are mid-way through similar tasks. One decides to persevere, the other to let go. Write a short piece showing what follows for each. I’d love to see your results.

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