Writing is a journey, not a destination.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Finish What You Start

I can't say this enough.

It isn't an issue for all writers (or people, for that matter). Some exist who write a story, give it a good once-over and publish that sucker. I can't rightly say I admire that, but I can say they're on the right track.

Some of us agonize over every word. We neglect story for the art of implementation. Every day, sometimes in mid-sentence, we see ways the story could be different, better, deeper, more lyrical, whatever. Yes, my daily experiences add layers to my thoughts like rings on a tree, but that doesn't mean every story has to be the sum total of my entire being. It's not possible.

A newspaper is old news before it hits the stands. A story is the same. It's a snapshot of my desires at the time of writing.

Make an outline. Write quickly in whatever style you prefer. Follow the outline when the muse isn't musing, and make something happen when you're bored. The goal is to finish this story. I recommend stuffing as much melodrama as you can manage into your first draft because emotion is what makes most readers read, and it's nearly impossible to add emotion later.

The young writer laughs at the thought of not being able to write. When I was a youngster, you couldn't keep me away from the keyboard. But you also couldn't make me finish a single story because I got bored and wandered off to the next exciting thing.

Now I am old. An old woman with a dozen half-finished ideas that keep getting in the way when I'm trying to write something worth reading. Had I finished those when I was young, I would know them for garbage and move on. As it is, I keep puking them up and stalling on the chunks.

Sorry. Hope you weren't eating breakfast.

Finish what you start. It is worth the effort.

Push button. Receive bacon.

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