I would much rather abandon an article if I can't figure out how to finish it. Otherwise, I'll have to spend time on it every time I go over my drafts.
Usually, it's obvious when an article has to be abandoned, like when the timeliness of the topic has passed or the joke isn't funny anymore. Other times, it's a judgment call.
But sometimes, I find external content along the same lines about the topic and it all comes together in a flash. I like those because suddenly, my topic has become timely.
Here's an example of that idea from Matt and Tom. Tom Scott had a failed video that he couldn't publish because it didn't quite make his quality standards. But he managed to salvage it and make an even better video.
To me, this demonstrates the notion that sometimes the best content is nothing (at least at first, in this case). But in order to make that determination, you have to have a standard of quality. And that's the real trick.
At any given time, I have about 50 blog articles in my drafts folder and about 10 in my attic folder. I go over the drafts almost every day to see if there's any new detail I can add. But sometimes, the article is abandoned and ends up in the attic.