I found this article by Kellie McGann over a subject I’m very familiar with, not finishing a writing project. I thought it was worth passing on to you. Enjoy
On my computer I actually have a folder of “Unfinished Blog Posts.”
If you’re like me, finishing projects is always a struggle, especially books, which are the hardest projects to finish.
Recently I’ve buckled down to finish several major writing projects, including my first book, and I’ve learned a few things about how to finish your writing along the way.
Three Secrets to Finishing Your Writing
Here are three secrets I’ve discovered about how to finish a book, blog post, or any other writing project, and some hints to keep you going.
1. Choose Just One
At one point I had five different documents open on my computer, all possible blogs, all different topics.
This is the worst way to finish anything.
The first thing you need to do is pick one project: pick one chapter, one blog post, one book you’re trying to finish. Give it your full attention. If you’re able to keep saying no to every other project, you will have no choice but to finish.
2. Kill Your Darlings
Stephen King said:
Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.
Your darlings are those perfect sentences, the string of words that flows so mellifluously and which you love.
About two-thirds through many of my blog posts or book chapters, I find myself asking, “Wait, what was my point?”
As writers, we tend to sidetrack, or tell other stories, or make points that are good but not always relevant.
Instead, keep your writing focused on your central message.
And if you have any “darlings” or sections that deviate from that central message, don’t delete them. Rather, move them to a separate document and title it, “My Darlings.” Save those darlings for a rainy day when you don’t know what to write about.
Tying up loose ends is essential to finishing strong, and killing your darlings is part of the process.
3. Finish with Questions
One of the best ways to end a writing piece is by asking questions.
Questions are perfect for summing up your point and making sure your readers understand.
It’s a fun, easy way to finish your piece and engage your readers.
Have you ever had trouble trying to finish a book writing project? What is something you use or do to help finish your writings?
Take fifteen minutes and finish something! Go to your drafts folder or scan through your documents until you find a piece you’ve been meaning to finish. (We all have them!)