Tuesday, December 29, 2009

To Have Finished

Happy New Year! Oh, I'd love to say this blog was a big end of year announcement of finishing my current WIP, but no, not quite. It will get there though. Eventually.

There's not a feeling much better than to "have written." But a close second comes from being able to say you "have finished." For nearly anything. Tasks big and small. And not nearly finished, but completely. My mother use to say to my teenage self that the dishes weren't done until all the surfaces were cleaned; counters, table, stove, etc. and the dishes put away. Only then was the job done. I can't tell you how often I dragged my heels over those last details. Why I did so, I still don't know. It's not like I was trying to prolong an enjoyable task. The only enjoyable part was to "have finished."

I was a procrastinator then and, in a large part, I'm a procrastinator now. It's always a struggle to get those last details complete. The odd thing is I will do dishes rather than work on the story. Most things wind up unfinished, and I still don't know the why - - although I've spent plenty of time thinking about it. :)

But something different happened this year. I finished my first book. I finished! Wave that checkered flag, it's done. That's a big thing for the world's best procrastinator to have the feeling of "have written" and "have finished." It is a wonderful, heedy feeling. I want it again, but it's a long time between books, even for a disciplined writer, to experience that feeling.

Just knowing the end will come, one word at a time, did give this procrastinator some food for thought though. I'm not sure if I can say it was life changing without sounding corny, but it does feel that way. Achieving a big goal is bound to have consequences. What else might I finish? Many things, if I keep moving forward. That's my goal this next year; to keep moving forward.

The end is not just possible, but inevitable, if one word follows the next.

Do you have trouble finishing? How did finishing, a book or another big accomplishment, change you?


  1. Congratulations! That is HUGE and something I've yet to do. Of all the things I've set out to do in the last five years, that's the only one I haven't met. It's become a thorn in my side.

    But I will finish a WIP in 2010. I will. Come Hell or high water. Or carpel tunnel. :)

  2. Thanks, Terri! Actually, I think the finish kind of sneaks up on you. Once the plot is all in place, it's a matter of revisions until you have to say, "stop!" (Although, looking at my first again after a long break I wish for another round. Either that's a good thing that I published and can't - because I'd still be working on it -- or it's a lesson to take that month or a few months break.)

    Sounds like your storyboarding is working well to get all your ducks in a row. I'm confident you will finish in 2010! By June, right? That means by this time next year you'll be on your second! :)

  3. When I finished my first, I felt a huge let down. I didn't want the story to be over. I wasn't ready to say good-bye to the characters that I had fallen in love with. But everyone kept telling me what an accomplishment it was. I now understand. So, congratulations! You completed something. You made it through to the end.

    I finished my second book the week of Christmas, and I'm near finished with a third. That second book told me, or showed me, that the finishing the first wasn't a fluke. I can get a story down, beginning, middle, and end.

    Keep writing one word at a time. Keeping pushing forward.

  4. Thanks, Renee. And congrats to you too! Wow. You finished your second! Did you feel the same let down? I imagine it was a great feeling to confirm you can and will write that beginning and middle again. :)

    It's interesting that you mention the let down. I didn't feel it immediately, but later. I miss those characters of the first and their world. I can't wait to revist them in a sequel. It's also part of why I wasn't willing to put it "under the bed." I wrote it knowing there were sequels, which is interesting if the second in the series (which will be my third book) is better written than the first simply from experience. If that makes sense.

    My work in progress doesn't have a sequel in mind at all, so it will be interesting how I'll deal with the separation anxiety.

  5. Oops...forgot "the end"...that you will write that beginning middle and END again. Can't forget THE END. *LOL!*

  6. Great, now Renee has me worrying if I'll finish and it'll be a fluke. LOL!

    I've never wanted to write a series or connecting books, but this one has turned into three. My heroine's little sister is pushy as hell and not happy about waiting to get her story done next. Damn pushy characters.

    I'm all about every book being better than the last from sheer experience alone. I think that applies to just about everything.

  7. Terri, this one has turned into three? Cool! It's funny how the characters seem to make the decisions isn't it?

    When you finish it won't be a fluke. Getting down several thousand words simply can't be a fluke. I'm sure a fluke happens much faster. :)

  8. Um, not sure what is going on but you had a new post, then it disappeared. I left a looooong comment and it disappeard before the current blog disappeared and then is said your entire blog was no long a blog. Hmmmm can we say Mercury in Retrograde? :)

  9. Oh no! My bad. I put it back in draft form to revise and then the irony struck me that I'd spent a really long time talking about writing daily and I'd not even written - - on my story - - today. So then I lost steam and chickened out on the timing to declare my writing daily goal. LOL

    So sorry you lost your comment...I may repost when I get my head together. Revise it as a "non personally declaring commitment, but sounds good in theory" post??? A call for help on how to do it? I'm not right in the head. LOL

  10. Terri, don't worry over my flukeness, I know you'll do fine because you had the courage to stop on one that probably wasn't going to go anywhere for your (from what you said) and moved on to one you seem to be enjoying.

    Melissa, you are fine. I thought it was a good post.


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