Monday, January 21, 2013
You should be committed!
It's hard to do this. We get a good idea for a novel, work on it a bit, and then other ideas come along. If the work on Novel #1 is going well, we may ignore the other ideas for now. But when the road becomes rocky on Novel #1, and those other wonderful novel-ideas are beckoning--- we start Novel #2.
For some of us, this first step of abandoning our novel for a better idea becomes the start of a pattern. We start a novel with high hopes, the novel seems less of a good idea each time we work on it, and before long we leave it unfinished to pursue some new novel idea.
This problem is we have not firmly committed ourselves to writing our Novel #1, working on it every day, until it is finished. If we are committed at all, it is a lukewarm commitment 'until a better idea comes along'. And if you have 'the right stuff' to be a writer, better ideas, or at least newer ideas that seem better, will always be coming along.
So, today, this day, make a firm commitment. That novel project you've got going right now--- you will finish it. Every day, say to yourself: "I commit to finishing (name of novel). I will work on it every day until it is finished."
And then, do it. When the idea appears in your mind to shift your work onto some other project, treat it like the idea of running out on a booze-binge or the idea of running off to Mexico with a cute secretary. Because that idea is a temptation, while the novel that you are committed to--- that's your wife. Be faithful to her!