Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Do You Have Unfinished Writing Projects?

I recently used a poster showing a dog at the computer. Not wanting to leave out the cat lovesr who read my blog, I am using a picture today that might appeal to the feline crowd.

This cat has the right idea. We all have chapters--or full projects--that need finishing. How many essays or stories or poems have you started and never finished? Writers are akin to those crafty people who start sewing projects and put them away for another day which often never comes along.

How many unfinished writing projects do you have in your files or notebooks? I doubt any of you, including me, can answer None. I have finished everything I've started. If only!

Why do we abandon these stories etc that we often start with great enthusiasm? One good reason is that we are stumped on the middle and/or ending. A great beginning often ends up like a bridge over a river that has never been completed. It's going nowhere. Or, we may not like what we've written so far. A poor beginning may not make us feel like going on with the project.

I once started a children's story about a boy sitting on the player's bench at his baseball game. I wrote a fantastic paragraph (or so I thought at the time) describing the coach. When I came to the end of that, I asked myself and then what happens? To this day, I have never come up with the answer. There will be situations like that, but there are also many beginnings that can come to a conclusion if we put our mind to it. I'm not going to say never to my story. It deserves more than I've given it so far.

The important thing is to write the rest of the story. It may not be the finished product. Instead, it's a way to finding the best middle and ending.Many revisions may take place before a satisfying ending occurs.  I think lots of writers have numerous 'great beginnings' that never see a 'fine ending.'

Look at finishing a writing project as a challenge. Many of us work well when challenged. A few will cower and whine a bit and hide the offending beginnning away again. A good story might end up being buried forever because we tell ourself it is just too hard to finish.

Take some time today, or very soon, to look at your unfinished writing projects. Choose one to work on this week. One at a time is the way to achieve completed projects. I think I need to find something for that little boy and his barking mad coach to do. That's my challenge this week. What's yours?

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