Writer’s Desk: Walk to Run

In his autobiography Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen explains that when it came time to write that album, he knew it was a make-or-break moment for his career. It couldn’t just succeed, it had to break through. So, he took his time. Per Justin Cox at The Writing Cooperative:

It took Springsteen six months to get Born to Run on paper. Six months for 344 words. The words had to stew. They had to develop. Then they had to be finessed and rearranged until they properly told the story that Springsteen envisioned.

Not every story needs to take half a year, but there is something to be said for not rushing. Spend time with the stories you’re working on. Pause them. Come back to them. Don’t hit the publish button until the story matches the vision in your mind.

It’s all about finding the right balance. Procrastination is one thing. You cannot just mull a piece over forever. Get things down on paper. Do the work. But if it doesn’t feel right, keep working the piece until it does.

You’ll know.

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