For many writers, one of the hardest parts of the job is finishing what we start.
We often find ourselves suddenly with an incredible idea in our heads, one that makes us a little sweaty of palm, a bit breathless with excitement, and we can’t wait to start working on it. However, as we keep going, our enthusiasm dampens, we can’t figure out where to go next, or just other priorities and commitments get in the way which means that we never manage to get to the end of our writing project.
For others, it can simply be the stress and anxiety or the fear of not being good enough that keeps us from seeing our writing through to the end, and no matter how much time and effort we’ve put into it, we can’t bring ourselves to finish.
As professional writers, it’s so important to finish what we start and to get over the roadblocks that prevent us from doing so. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Not being prepared
Asking yourself the right questions can help you be more prepared and therefore, confident in yourself and your work. Are you truly ready to write? How will you make the time? Have you researched your audience? Are you ready to edit and polish your work? Are you prepared for rejection?
Searching for perfection
Writers, by nature, are perfectionists. However, striving for perfection can be more damaging than helpful in the long run. It is essential to learn the difference between putting the appropriate amount of time and effort into your work to make it as good as possible and hoping to produce something flawless and perfect which is an impossibility for even the most experienced and successful writers amongst us. Once you can embrace your imperfections, and stop being so self-critical, you’ll stand a much better chance of finishing your book.
Worrying about what others think
While it is vital to keep your reader in mind if you want your book to be successful if you only care about what others think and worry about rejection or criticism you could end up scaring yourself away from finishing altogether.
You need to accept that criticism and rejection are part and parcel of the writing world, and write for yourself first and foremost. If you aren’t enjoying your writing, and if you are constantly fretting about other people’s opinions, you are far less likely to want to keep doing it.
The truth is, the very biggest obstacle known to finish what you start is yourself.
You have the power, you can do it, and the ability to overcome your fears, worries, and doubts is imperative.
Only you can hold yourself accountable and be honest about what is holding you back - once you can do that, you’ll be able to tackle those obstacles head-on, and move forward, editing closer and closer toward the finish line!
This is one thing I have been trying to do. Often I ask myself when its it really finished? Then I say that's for me to decide. I was told by the creative writing teacher I had in junior college that "writing is rewriting is rewriting..." That's what I have tried doing. I worked on the memoir many times before I decided it was done, to my satisfaction. Same now with the diary novel. Still have some things to do with that one, though it's been a while since I last worked on that one. I felt what I had done on that work was how I wanted it to be; I just need to check for errors and such. But even when I work to find errors, I may see things I want to add, delete or change completely. How often I do this, is something I decide and do until I feel satisfied.
I began and finished my dictated story afterI had made changes to the diary, which I have yet to print with the recent changes. I wanted to get the dictated story on Wattpad and have it complete by the end of June. On a side note, I emailed a PDF of the story to the members of the writing group, as a way of keeping in touch while the group is out for summer. One member gave feedback via email. I gave then the option of reading the story if the wanted to and had time since we won't be meeting again till fall and won't be seeing most of them till then. I was glad to see at least one person respond.
My next plan to work some more on the diary, then possibly the sequel that I have already begun.