finish lineI’m celebrating a milestone in my young writing life.  After three years of writing fiction, I did something today I’ve never done before.  I finished a short story.

I don’t know much about the psychology of persevering through a project — I only know it stinks when you’re working at it, but feels oh so good once it’s completed.  Kind of like exercise.  And I don’t have a ton of advice for motivating writers to finish their projects.  I’m learning myself!  Though, I will say, I’m sure there’s a healthy amount of hard work involved with just the tiniest bit of luck.

I guess what I did this time that was different from others was that I wrote, kept writing and didn’t go back and scuba-edit everything I wrote as I wrote it.  Which means, my next task is rewriting.  But there’s something to separating out the writing stage from the rewriting… if only a psychological something.  You feel accomplished when you finish; you feel discouraged when you murder every sentence baby before it’s even born.

So  I’m  properly chuffed.

I began working at 9:45 am and finished at 4:05 and celebrated with a brain-exploding run.  It was a long haul of self-doubt, with my inner editor telling me to take a break after every sentence.  But I didn’t!  How many great stories have been lost because their authors took a break and never had the courage to come back?

It’s a rough story and will need a ton of rewriting, but today I persevered and I finished it.  Hurray!

“Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
E.L. Doctorow

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