I find it easy to start things. Essays, stories, novels, poems, blogs…but I rarely finish anything, especially to the point of publication. I have been writing – seriously writing – for over twenty years. While I have published articles here and there (mostly health related, on various blogs, online magazines, local newspapers, even a couple essays in national magazines,) most of what I start sits unfinished. Here are some of the reasons I came up with for why I don’t finish things:
- The work is not as good as I’d like it to be.
- I don’t want to make a mistake in the plot line, so I stop writing
- The easy flow that had me writing profusely at the beginning stopped
- I did take a wrong turn: my story is headed in the wrong direction
- I lose control of a character or plot
- Editing is overwhelming, especially on a long work like a novel
- It’s sad to say goodbye to something.
- It feels like it will be embarrassing to have something out there…it may not be as good as I think it is.
- Publishing opens myself up to criticism
- My work may just sit there, ignored.
- I’m trying to illustrate my stories myself and am not a trained illustrator, so I feel I’m not good enough or get held up by a technicality (how to get something I illustrated on paper into the computer and into the story in a finished sort of way.)
So many of my stories and projects lay forgotten in spiral notebooks or even computer files. Or on sheets of paper kicking around the house until they finally find the trash. Some children’s stories are nearly done, except for illustrations. Some are written, edited, expanded upon, reeled in, re-edited, and then cast aside.
One reason I like knitting so much is it resulted in actual finished projects. Sure, I have my share of knitting UFOs (unfinished objects) floating around in various basket and bags, but there have been a lot of things I’ve finished: scarves, dolls, hats, shirts, sweaters, toy blocks, headscarves, dishcloths. Finishing is immensely satisfying.
Blogging is a sort of way to finish things…little articles put out there, essays, thoughts. But it also is something I use as procrastination (as I write about not finishing things the novel I just re-started sits, not being finished.)
One thing I’d love to focus this blog on is finishing some of these projects. For a start, I will link to some online and print stories, essays and articles of mine that are actually finished, published and out there.
Here’s to finishing!
Food Under Foot – educational website/blog about wild edible plants
5 Ebooks about Wild Edibles – Yes! I did write and finish an ebook on each of these wild edibles: Dandelion, Burdock, Plantain, Clover and Lambsquarters. I’ve written others as well, and some are a hair’s breath away from being done….and yet…. (to get these ebooks you just have to join the email list at Food Under Foot)
Many many articles for Natural News
Birch Center Blog – Wellness Blog for Acupuncture Practice
Articles on Wild Edibles in The Cooperator:
- August, 2012 – The Hunt For Wild Mushrooms
- May, 2012 – Japanese Knotweed as Food and Medicine: If You Can’t Beat It, Eat It
Readers Write essays in The Sun Magazine
Breastfeeding Molly, My Special Needs Daughter, article published in Mothering Magazine, 2002
The rest of this year I dedicate to finishing! 🙂