I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged. -Erica Jong
I am so close to finishing the second draft of Geoff and Lia’s story. So, of course, I’m dragging my feet.
Why? Because that means it’s the end of the fun part of writing for me. No more making things up and writing them down. Now I have to send it out into the cold, uncaring world. Other people are going to look at. They might point. They might snicker. They might wonder what kind of sick, demented imagination could think up such a story.
They might even want to buy it.
That is scary.
So I am going to go public. Announce to all the world, or at least as much of the world might be reading these words, that I am going to give myself a deadline. I will finish the second draft by December 20, 2016, 8:06 pm PST.
Now the pressure’s on.
I used to be afraid to finish a project. Because if I finished one, I’d have to submit it. And if I submitted it, I would have to suffer through the first of what would surely be fifty rejections, because that’s what EVERY writer has to go through, right? And I wasn’t ready for that.
So I didn’t write more than twenty pages of a book. Ever. Because it kept me safe from those rejections.
And what I didn’t realize was that I was rejecting myself. I was making the decision FOR all of those editors.
I finally got the courage to write a book. And I sent it in. And HOLY COW the publisher wanted to buy it.
6 thoughts on “On the Fear of Finishing Things”
If you’re interested, here’s a link to an article about how different writers decide when their novels are finished: https://fabricatingfiction.wordpress.com/2016/11/16/how-do-you-know-when-your-novel-is-finished-best-selling-authors-share-their-tips/
Is this your first novel that you’re trying to finish? I remember reading a long time ago that you’d already gotten a book deal. Is it the same book?
Hi Haerin! No, this is another story. My editor is looking at the story that I sold. Thank you for that link! I always wonder when other authors consider a story “done.”
I see. When is your first book coming out? Do you have a release date yet?
And hello to you too. And you’re welcome!
May I also have a brief synopsis of your first novel? Or is it still a secret?
It’s not a secret, but it’s easier to write a whole book than it is to write a two paragraph blurb for the back cover. I’m still working on that for the publisher!
The book won’t have a release date assigned to it until the editor finishes her review. I will post when I have a publication date.
I see. Thanks for answering.
I’ve heard a lot of writers say that it’s hard to write a blurb. It’s a strange idea to me. At the moment, nothing looks harder than plotting.
I hope you get the release date soon.