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?