I Can’t Seem To Finish…

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

Click Image to link to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group

Before I jump into the topic of my post I want to say I’m excited to be a new participant in Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Group blog hop, co-hosted this month by  Julie Luek, Rachna Chabria, Beverly Fox, and Ilima Todd!

The purpose of the IWSG is: “To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!”

The first Wednesday of each month is the official Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. So, I can hardly wait to hear from other writers and to be able to help anyone that I can.

After you’ve read my post, please Click here  to “hop” to another blog on the list to support and share with others.

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Where I start on my post is that I can’t seem to finish…the rough draft of my newest novel. It’s a young adult futuristic fantasy about a teenage girl trying her hardest to balance relationships and not getting killed. I’m on the tail end (I mean, the last two sentences) of the second to last chapter.  I know exactly what happens next, I just haven’t put it down in writing. My manuscript has laid untouched for a couple of weeks.

Part of me wants to say it’s because I’m so busy with everything else in my life. Like most writers I have responsibilities beyond working on my book. There’s the business my husband and I run every day from so early in the morning to way to late at night. Right now we’re gearing up for the coming holiday season.  At the same time I home school my daughter. That in itself is equal parts overwhelming and rewarding. Besides those two big things, my shoulders carry the regular minutia that involves living a life: doing the laundry, cooking meals, cleaning the bathrooms and the like.

Reading and writing are the things I do just for myself. My escape time. When I squeak out the time to write it sort of feels selfish. There are a million things that NEED to get done, but I’m sitting in front of the computer playing with my thoughts. It’s hard to reconcile being so focused on my wants when deep in my mind I know I should be cleaning the dishes.

But my guilty conscience and a busy life aren’t my problem. Time management isn’t what’s holding me back.

I know because all summer long I could write for fifteen minutes here and grab another half an hour there. Banging out a few hundred words was no problem. I can find the time. I just have to give up some sleep.

An author I met once told me that there’s nothing like the feeling of finishing your book for the first time. She was right. When I completed the rough draft of my first novel, I was ecstatic. Back then I wasn’t good at “plowing” through to the end of the draft come what may. I was meticulous and long-winded. It took me YEARS to finish that book. Today it’s still sitting on my hard drive collecting computer dust.

That’s my real problem. I’m afraid of finishing my book. I don’t really want it to be over. The rough draft is where I’m just blasting out my inner thoughts. Anything can and does happen. Next it’s going to be a lot more work. That happy feeling I’ll have when I can write “the end” for the first time is so short-lived. Revisions are painful. I just don’t want these characters that I love so much to be hidden away because I may not be successful in rewriting them. I also don’t want to start hating them because I can never get away from them.

I’m making this my debut IWSG post because I would love some words of encouragement. Please give me some pointers on getting over the “Post Finished-My-Rough-Draft-High Let Down.” What do you do to keep motivated in your writing, even when you have to re-write it again and again and again?

Thanks!

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Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “I Can’t Seem To Finish…

  1. Hi Leanne, you owe it to yourself to finish that rough draft. Think of all the time, effort you have invested in your story. Keep everything on hold and type those two last chapters. Don’t you want your book to be read? So how about taking that first step, by completing the first draft 🙂

    Rachna Chhabria
    Co-host IWSG
    Rachna’s Scriptorium

  2. You’re right about time management. While giving up sleep is probably not the answer to giving yourself writing time, giving up something nonessential is. So what if the dust bunnies are multiplying under the bed. But getting so close to the end of your story and not finishing sounds like you don’t want to let go of either the characters or the story itself. Think instead of the feeling of accomplishment when you do. Promise yourself you’ll write another story with the same characters or setting. Some people write a short story about the world of their main story to tide readers over until the next book. Good luck.

    • Hi Diane,
      I do have another story to follow these characters. They won’t go to bed silently. My big worry is the daunting task of beginning again with revisions. When I’m finished I’m not REALLY finished.

  3. It’s like swallowing a bitter pill or having to take cod liver oil; you get to the point where you just do it. And afterwards you say to yourself, “Well, that wasn’t so bad.” I know how you feel. When I got to the end of my novel last year I started watching infomercials in the morning instead of writing. But try this: sit down, close your eyes, and imagine. And just write before you can even think about it. Before you know it, it will be done, and (sigh) revisions begin. But that’s a topic for another blog post!

  4. Pingback: IWSG Wednesday! | lilicasplace

  5. But you don’t have to leave those characters forever, You can write another book about them!
    Time is difficult for me. (Look, it’s the day after and I’m just now getting to visit.) I’m also a lazy writer, so I need NaNo and things like that to power me through. You can do it though.
    And welcome to the IWSG!

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