Finishing Up

At lunch the other day, I was telling my friend Betsy that I decided to put my playwrighting class on hold in order to focus on finishing my YA novel. “I have a tough time completing things,” I added. Betsy nodded sympathetically — she knew exactly what I was talking about. You probably do, too. Frankly, I have a raft of unfinished projects crowding my files and jostling around in my piles. There’s my Sojourner Truth play, my Oscar Wilde screenplay: the list goes on and on.

Well, you get the picture. Maybe you’ve got a touch of the same malady: “unfinished-itis.”
I just made that word up, but it’s not bad — it pretty much sums up the situation. The cause of this all-too common writer’s complaint? Your guess is as good as mine. It could be fear of failure. Fear of success. Laziness. Lack of motivation. Lack of self-esteem. Lack of post-project planning. Lack of time. Lack of sleep. Stress. Who the heck knows!

One thing I do know is that a project that’s hanging fire is frustrating and unrewarding. You can’t let it go and you can’t get it going. Know the feeling? Well, this time around, I made up my mind to finish my YA novel come hell or high water. And you know what? It still needs work, but it has a beginning, middle, and end. Now that’s progress! A few tips on pushing through that might be helpful on your end:

Find the courage to commit to yourself: This time around, I made a conscious decision to
honor all the time and energy I had invested in starting my story by finishing it. This meant giving up some leisure activities I enjoyed and sitting at my desk instead.

Keep your forward motion: Whenever I got feedback on what I’d already written, I put it
aside and kept pushing my story forward. If I hit a plot snag, I called my sister Stephanie, the ace editor, and we came up with a solution of some kind, so I could keep going.

Work steadily: This is key. Every day, no matter what else was going on, I managed to write some pages. During my revision phase, I’ve worked hard to put in 2-3 hours each weekday to rewrite and restructure. Sure, I’ve missed some days here and there, but generally, I’ve kept to this schedule. It’s made a big difference.

About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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