Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Situation Perhaps Even Ben & Jerry Can't Help

How much time should you devote to a project before you give up and call it quits? I hate to leave any project undone. And worse, I hate spending time on a project and not having it arrive at a fruitful conclusion. Recently I've been working on a story for one of my magazines, and it's just not going well. First, the interview resulted in reams of notes. Hacking away through the details to pick out just the right angle was excruciatingly time consuming. Then I had to rewrite it about a dozen times. The subject of the interview repeatedly changed his mind about minute details. Finally, my editor suggested an alternate angle which required a total rewrite, and then suggested that possibly the subject was now "too old." After weeks of work, I was ready to send the entire document to the recycle bin and plop down on the sofa with a pint of Ben & Jerry's. Part of me wants to fight for the story and make it work, and the other part wants to be intelligent enough to know when it's time to admit defeat. I'm still thinking about it. Perhaps I'll find the answer in a bowl of Chunky Monkey.

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