Finish What You Start

On the Belbin Team Inventory, I score as the Finisher. This may be why I haven’t often fallen into the trap that snags many writers, of starting multiple projects but finishing none of them. That is, I haven’t fallen into that trap until … lately, when I’m in the middle of editing an anthology, writing a short story, submitting a novel, and still hoping to enter at least two contests, apply for a grant, and maybe write an essay or two.

So when I read these Six Tips for Finishing What You Start on Susan K. Perry’s blog (Susan is an author I “follow” on Goodreads), they resonated with me in a way they wouldn’t have in the past–especially tip number one, about keeping a schedule. I can definitely attest to the importance of keeping a schedule in finishing writing projects, and not sticking to this schedule has been my downfall in the past couple months. As a part-time freelancer, sometimes my schedule is too flexible for my own good. My writing time gets shifted around from day-to-day … and sometimes, it gets shifted right off the agenda. So here I am, once more making a renewed commitment to write first-thing in the morning, every morning. On days that I’m working from home, my day starts when I say it starts; and on days when I work at the library, I rarely have to be in before noon. So in theory, writing consistently first thing in the morning shouldn’t be hard. Except, it is hard.

It’s hard because writing at any time of day is hard. It’s hard because no one wants to start off their day doing something as grueling as writing can sometimes be. But for me, there’s something that’s even harder: writing at ANY other time of day.

When I don’t write first-thing in the morning, I have lots of excuses as to why: I needed to see if I had any assignments that were “on fire” and in need of immediate attention. I’m at a loss for inspiration and hoping that it will come to me throughout the day. But although waiting sometimes brings results, I honestly can’t feel good about my day until after I’ve worked on a writing project. So if I work on my writing first thing in the morning, I go into the rest of my day knowing that the hardest part is behind me–and feeling a weight lifted from my shoulders. And if that elusive inspiration really does strike as the day goes on, well, there’s no rule against writing twice in the same day, is there?

So now, I’m off to bed–I have to wake up early for writing tomorrow.