Finishing What I Start

I like to start projects.  They’re fun to start.  I’ve started a really cute advent calendar, a nice needle work picture that would be lovely framed and put up for the holidays, and a few other needlepoint projects.  I complain that my garden never grows, but honestly, I get bored of it and stop watering it.   I saw a pregnant stray dog at work this last week and I strongly considered offering to foster it if they can’t find the owner.  Because I really need a bunch of puppies in my house in December. This addiction to taking on new projects is a sickness, really.

Then there’s my writing.  I like to write, a lot.  I have a first draft of a novel completed as well as the first draft of roughly a dozen short stories that I think would be worthwhile to polish and pursue publication.  And yet, they sit there.  To add to all the chaos in my life, I have these characters that pop into my head randomly, begging to be finished. It’s disconcerting to have make believe people bothering you.

But there’s a strong pull right now to start another project.  It’s almost November.  NaNoWriMo time (National Novel Writing Month).  I loved it last year.  I have an idea for another novel.  I could easily outline it and get another first draft finished.  It’s so tempting. So tempting.

But I’m not going to.  Instead, I’m going to use November to finish four short stories.  One a week. And I mean finish.  They will be squeaky clean, ready to be critiqued by my writing group and then, off to submission. I think my stories are getting close to being publishable and that is my ultimate goal.

However, it’s hard to publish something that’s not completely finished.  So it’s time to stop starting new things and finally finish something.

I think finishing will also give me more calm in my life.  A sense that I’m actually accomplishing something since this parenting gig feels like a big revolving door.  I get up in the morning, do the same thing I did the day before, go to bed, and repeat.  Finishing something will make me feel less adrift, I think.

So that’s my plan.  In November, I will be updating once a week on my short stories and how they’re coming.  I have three out of the four picked and I think I know the fourth, but I want to look through my pile and make sure.  My ultimate plan is to have the rest polished and a solid draft of my novel finished before next year at this time, so I can tackle another novel in November.

How about you? Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year?  Are you thinking of doing a non-traditional NaNo?  Do you finish what you start?  Any tips for me to actually finish something?


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10 Responses to “Finishing What I Start”

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  1. Kristin @ Peace, Love and Muesli
    Twitter: kristinglas
    says:

    Get out of your own way and edit, edit, edit!
    Kristin @ Peace, Love and Muesli´s last post ..Feel Good Friday: The Get Out Of My Own Way Edition.

  2. Myne Whitman
    Twitter: Myne_Whitman
    says:

    I’m definitely doing NaNo, not sure how it will go though. :)
    Myne Whitman´s last post ..Loving the one who loves you back

  3. Amanda says:

    Editing is my favorite part. It’s relaxing. I think because, for me, the hard part is done. Getting those first words down can be painful sometimes.

    Good luck with finishing your projects this next month! I look forward to reading about it.

  4. Jen @ Lita's World
    Twitter: litasworld
    says:

    Good for you!!!! I am the QUEEN of procrastination most of the time. I just wrote about how I finally got my photos organized!! Which also meant I slacked on everything else…including blogging. But I do feel so fabulous that I accomplished the photo cataloging. I find it helps if I make lists….seems silly and I don’t always do it, but just being able to check things off my list feels oh so wonderful!!! And I prefer paper lists…not just a list on my phone or iPad..somehow having it on paper makes it feel more real.

    Best of luck with your stories…you’re such a fabulous writer!!
    Jen @ Lita’s World´s last post ..Meatless Monday – Vacation Foods

    • Jessica Anne says:

      It does feel so good to finish something. I can’t wait to write The End and mean it. Lists are a great idea! And I agree with the paper. It’s just more satisfying to take a pen and check something off.
      Jessica Anne´s last post ..Eyebrow Maintenance

  5. Brittany says:

    Good luck!!
    Brittany´s last post ..Be Thankful

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