Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Joy Of Completion

It can be quite a gruelling process to write a novel.

Sometimes you will just know there's no way what you're writing is going to end up in the finished product. 

Things aren’t going well. There’s no point carrying on. The story isn’t working. You’re going to have to rewrite everything, maybe even give it up as a bad job and start from scratch.

Why not just stop now and not waste anymore time going down a blind alley? 


My advice, whether working on revisions or going back to square one, is to complete the version you’re working on.

The reason for this is because you will get a boost from reaching the end that will help motivate and energise you.

This is true of most everything you do, not just writing. If you set yourself a goal, and you reach that goal, it will hit you with a dose of good vibes.

Obviously, if you reach the end in spectacular style, the buzz you get will be fantastic. But even if you struggle over the finish line, with pages and pages of terribleness, you will still be rewarded. Even the person who comes in last in the marathon feels pretty good about themselves.

You may think you know it's not worth carrying on, but everybody feels that way when they're stuck in the middle of it. 

Don't get me wrong, it could well turn out to be complete rubbish, but assessing that from somewhere in the midst of it all, when you feel tired and pissed off, is not the right time.

Finish it. 

You may go on to throw out every word you just slaved over, but you will have achieved something 90% of people who fancy themselves as writers fail to do: complete a manuscript. You will feel like a better person, a serious contender and a proper writer, if you work all the way to the end. 
If you found this post useful, please give it a retweet. Maybe leave a comment. Challenge me to a fight. Offer me a slap on the back. Or a slap in the face. I just like the attention. 

26 comments:

jesstopper said...

Finish it - best advice ever. It took me five years to finish my first novel, and I made every excuse up along the way. But when I finally wrote "the end", it was a feeling like no other! I could get addicted to that feeling!

Chantel Rhondeau said...

I think it is easy to come up with excuses to quit. Excellent advice! Great post!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Finish what you started - makes sense!

Patricia Lynne said...

I do always feel giddy and happy when I finish a MS.

Angela Brown said...

You make an excellent point. There's a feeling you get at the completion of that manuscript that is a high that can't be described. Also, it's amazing how completing the manuscript can help free your mind for ideas to pop into your head on how to improve things.

Sara Hill said...

No slap today! LOL! Thanks for this. I needed to hear it, as I keep "starting over." I must be OCD!!! :)

Bish Denham said...

I do love the feeling of finishing a writing project. Small or large, it simply feels good.

mooderino said...

@jess-it's a good feeling.

@chantel-cheers.

@Alex-I like to think so.

@Patricia-me too.

@Angela-good point.

@sara-glad to be of service.

@Bish-I say get your good feelings when you can.

Charmaine Clancy said...

I do the Snoopy happy dance every time I finish - of course it wears off the twelfth time I 'finish' the same manuscript.

Jess said...

Really good post. I love finishing projects--unfortunately, too many times I leave them hanging out there with a 'to be continued' sign flapping. So much better to write The End!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I've got a number of finished manuscripts in the closet - I plan on going back and reworking some of them. Knowing they're completed, with a beginning, a middle, and an end (plus all the notes I made about it, etc.) makes the idea/task easier.

Bob Scotney said...

Finish what you start! Godd advice to A-Z bloggers as well.

Matthew MacNish said...

Amen to that. Finishing a novel, even one that is four times too long, and needs years worth of revision, is still a huge accomplishment. Something to be proud of. I know, I've done it.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

I agree. The first draft for me allows me to organize my thoughts on paper or on the screen. It shows me character growth and after a while, I can ask myself...did this character grow toward the goal like I wanted it to do? Also it helps to point out limitations of the secondary characters. This is a real weak point with me. Secondary characters have to have a purpose and shouldn't be treated as just tag alongs for the main character.

Anna Soliveres said...

Thanks for the words of encouragement. I got my second draft back from my developmental editor and after a two month separation from the work, realized how terrible it was (perhaps I'm being overly critical). But sitting there feeling like I had been so close, and then coming to find it no longer meets my standards...well, it was incredibly demotivating.

I keep telling myself to take it nice and slow, and that it's okay that I'll have to spend another month of so before I'm satisfied (if I even reach that conclusion). :)

Cheers,
Anna Soliveres

mooderino said...

@charmaine-careful you don't fall off the roof of the kennel.

@Jess-I think so.

@Madeline-I've got a few put away myself.

@Bob-agreed!

@Matthew-absolutely.

@Michael-I think completing a draft always helps bring things to light, even if you end up changing loads.

mooderino said...

@Anna-I think that's a common realisation. But all the more sweeter when you go back to a manuscript and can see it works much better now. Which will happen.

Lydia Kang said...

So true. Much of the potential is lost if you don't finish, and that's even considering you think it's got no potential at all. Does that make sense?

Gail M Baugniet - Author said...

I am editing my second manuscript now, though a strange critic comment halted its completion for a while: how do you expect to get an entire book out of this... taught me to finish the novel and strengthen my personal belief in the work before opening it to the critique process.
http://gail-baugniet.blogspot.com Theme: A World of Crime

mooderino said...

@Lydia-it makes perfect sense.

@Gail-If Melville can write a thousand pages on going fishing, I'm sure you'll be fine.

Sandra Tyler said...

You just completed a novel? congrats!

mooderino said...

@Sandra-nearly. And thanks.

J.M. Sloderbeck said...

Would that more people followed this advice.

#1: if you're going to write a book, write it.
#2: if you're going to write a book, once you start writing it, finish it.

Thanks for the blog post. Hopefully more people will find it.

mooderino said...

@JM-I hope so too.

Dawn M. Hamsher said...

Mooderino,
I agree. Finish it. If nothing else, it builds character and stamina.

The Write Soil
1st Writes

mooderino said...

@Dawn-i think of it as the bare minimum.

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