Friday, November 09, 2012

The Simplest Advice for Writing to "The End"

If it's within your grasp, take it!
or, How to Finish What You Start

"I have all these great ideas. So many stories are started -- but I finish so few." 

I hear this from writers all the time. There are a million things I could say about sticktoitiveness, evaluating an idea's merits, and choosing one's projects wisely...

...but all that would just fill up space, without getting to the real core answer.

How does one finish a writing project? Do one of two things:

1.) Pick the lowest hanging fruit. Choose the story that is closest to being done -- the one that won't take much to push it over the edge to completion.

Work on nothing but that until it is finished, edited, polished, and ready to send out into the cold, cruel world.

This is soooo good, I know I'll finish it!

2.) Feed your soul. Choose the project that most speaks to you. The one you can't stop thinking about. The one you *have* to write.

Work on nothing but that until it is finished, edited, etc.

Notice a common thread?


Working on multiple projects at a time is like fighting a war on many fronts. It disperses your creativity rather than distilling it and concentrating it, making it far too easy to lose focus, drive, or passion.

The end is near! And that's a good thing!
Pick one.

Stick with it.

Wrestle with it.

See it through. Then move on to another.

I never said the advice was easy, but it is simple.

What's the best advice you ever heard for finishing something? Tell me!

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