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I've let this chapter hang for two days now.

I've left this chapter hanging for two days now.

This chapter has been hanging for two days now.

I've dragged this chapter out for two days now.

Do all these sentences sound natural?

Like if something is left hanging it's left unresolved or unaddressed. So if you're reading a book, but if you're not ready for the second hand embarrassment, you put it away for a while. This is what this question is basically about. Like you haven't been able to finish reading a chapter, cause you always end up putting the book away for a couple hours.

Someone was reading a book. And a particular chapter was too cliched and cringey. So that person was reading it on and off for two days.

Second context: Someone's writing a book and has hit a writer's block and is having trouble finishing this chapter.

The context I had in my mind was former.

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  • The second sentence sounds the most natural and idiomatic, though there is no harm in the third one as well. Sep 23, 2020 at 17:42

2 Answers 2

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Sorry to say that none of these sound to me like you are describing writer's block.

When you say that you "let" or "left" the chapter hanging, it sounds like a deliberate thing you are doing.

Also, to "drag something out" means to unnecessarily elongate something. Again, it sounds partially deliberate, that you've taken your time. It could also be taken to mean that you completed it after 2 days.

As you appear to be anthropomorphising the chapter, speaking as if it already exists when you are actually still trying to write it, I would try to word it so that the blame is on the chapter, not you. You want the chapter to come out, but it won't.

How about:

I've been wrestling with this chapter for 2 days now.

or

This chapter has been stuck in my mind for 2 days now and won't come out.

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  • And what about the first context? Where you're deliberately putting off reading a chapter? Sep 25, 2020 at 19:21
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If you want to be clear on your intended meaning, which involves reading rather than writing, say so. And if your focus is your reason for delay, avoid a construction that implies double agency.

I have dilly-dallied over reading this chapter for days because …

or

For days, I have fruitlessly tried to read this chapter all the way through because …

or

I cannot seem to read all the way through this chapter because …

or

This chapter is hard reading for me because …

There must be hundreds of ways to express this thought. None of yours seems particularly apt because none mentions reading.

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