Wednesday, January 02, 2013


I began to write and sell my work forty-one years ago. First I wrote around a day job and motherhood, and much later full-time. At first articles and later commercially pubbed nonfiction books. Today I'm still an author and now also a freelancer writing travel articles who takes my own images.

I learned something when I began this long journey and vowed never to waver from it. And every year thereafter, I have renewed this vow as my New Year writing resolution.

** Always finish a project before starting a new one! **

This takes more single-mindedness than is immediately apparent. As any writer knows, topics and nuggets, stories and settings for more work intrude constantly. And, when a project, is proving a challenge, it is all too easy for these new ideas to enchant and beckon. DON'T BE BEGUILED! Just jot them down for later.

English: W.I.P.
Photo: Wikipedia
Finish what you've started! Here are a few motivations to help you continue with the current WIP:
  • Once finished and revised your WIP can be marketed, and if bought, will pay you. Sweet!
  • Completion of a WIP is so satisfying, it encourages you to tackle the next with gusto!
  • If the WIP proves tricky, pushing onward always results in a breakthrough, especially if you ask your writers' group for assistance, and you'll learn some solutions for next time.
  • Failure to complete mss makes you disheartened, hinders learning your craft, and dents your confidence; to say nothing of leaving dozens of half-done mss on your hard-drive or in a drawer.
  • It also scatters your focus - not a good habit to encourage.
(Photo: found_drama)
I see many emerging writers who leave projects half-written. I do understand that you are discovering what you like to write, but it's a mistake to not finish each one.

Why? First, it's about discipline. And secondly because as professional freelancers we are often asked to write on topics that may not move us or as authors to write sections/scenes in our books that are difficult. We have to learn to write these less-than enchanting projects and sections. 

I quickly got over this challenging part of a writer's life. I found writing the tough stuff was good practice, and early on it was these less interesting pieces that taught me always to finish every WIP before I started the next.

My recurring New Year writing resolution has stood me in good stead for all of my forty-one years as a writer and paid me well in dollars and continual improvement!

Wishing you all a disciplined and creative 2013!

Always finish a project before starting a new one!
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