The case for despair

OK not really. I think it's important to point out right from the start, that I am not going to advocate despair, in the same way as I advocated hope. Despair is in most cases a bad thing, and it is certainly not more rational than hope as many people suggest. But here is the point I am trying to make: Sometimes you just have to give up. Sometimes it just doesn't feel right to keep pursuing a certain direction or keep doing what we are used to doing, but not knowing how to change course, we keep the momentum anyway. When that happens, despair can act like a reset button to get us out of the deadlock. This is what I do every once in a while in my work in IT. Sometimes when I get tangled with something really complicated, I give up. I even tell everybody that I just can't do it. And then I go working on something else for a while, and then I go back to the problem I supposedly gave up on. In most cases, all of the sudden I have fresh ideas and I get progress. The reason despairing and then trying again anyway works, is that our mind works differently when we encounter a new problem than when we handle a familiar one. When we tackle something new we are much more willing to experiment and take risks. Giving up on something and then returning to it, is not like taking a break and then continuing from where we stopped. It's more like making a fresh start. The trick is to still get progress. So if you are using this technique when writing a story. Be sure to save the text you gave up on. Even if you will then start from the beginning ( as you should if you gave up ), you may still benefit from the failed attempts. Because after all, you are not really despairing - which is something you should never do

God gave me a pen and asked me what do I want to write. I am still writing the answer.
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