On this blog, I’ve posted many an excerpt. I’ve mostly posted short pieces – character studies, scenery descriptions, dialogue, short scenes that seem to need to belong to something longer, short stories, and a few beginnings to novels.
All this is great. It’s exactly why I started this blog – in order to try things out, try to figure out different genres and create different characters for myself to think over. I’ve practices my style, flow and different voices [at least, I hope I’ve managed to write in different voices].
But I’ve gotten addicted to having people read my work. I love posting on this blog and being able to get feedback on what I write. Why is this a problem? Well, in many ways, it isn’t. It’s good that I feel a connection and an obligation to be here, because it helps me sit my butt down and write most days.
The problem is that although I start many things, I haven’t finished a large percentage of them. Yes, I wrote a few complete short stories: The Princess Without a Name, One-Eyed Steve, Spam. But my longer works in progress always seem to shudder to a halt. I do have on fantasy novel [hopefully, eventually] that I’ve never posted anything from and probably never will, but other than that, I seem to get stuck. I don’t know if many of you remember my first attempt at a thriller, Move? Probably not. But I was so excited about it for so long, and then I just couldn’t think of anything more.
How do I dedicate the time to just one project, make it a commitment and try to finish it? Forget finish – how to I pass the fifteen page mark? I’ve written papers that were more than twenty pages long, so why do I get stuck with longer fiction? The irony is that I’m usually much more of a novel or novella girl – I enjoy short stories, but only really specific ones and only when I’m in a certain mood.
My whole goal in writing, besides the mere pleasure it brings me and the fact that now I’ve started I don’t ever want to stop, is to succeed in creating something that speaks to someone. Even just one person. When I daydream about being published one day (and I don’t allow myself to do this often, since it’s much too scary) I think about that one letter I’ll get, or that one email, from someone like me who just really enjoys reading and had fun reading something I wrote. That, for me, will be success right there. To make even one single person feel like I feel when I read novels or stories of any kind. That’s a bigger goal than I think it is, I’m sure, because all I ever hear are the horrors of publication, and I shouldn’t be striving for that in my writing anyway.
I should be striving to tell true things. Or have a basis of truth in what I write. I don’t mean that I should write an autobiography or base characters on real people – just that there should be some truth in the emotion and underlying tones of whatever I write.
This has turned into a much longer post than I intended. So I go back to my main question. How do you finish things? How do you just stick with something and finish it?