Writer. Adventurer. Currently working on The Dreamless City, a series of steampunk novels and short stories.
I learned some things about myself this weekend. Well, I can’t say it was a big surprise since I have been living with myself for 29 years. (Okay, I might be counting 29 more than once, but let’s just agree that it’s been a while.)
I don’t have a great need to finish things. In fact, on a scale of 1 to 100, a recent personality test gave me a score of 17. Deadlines don’t give me a sense of urgency, especially if I set them myself. I borrowed an August 31st deadline to finish THE DREAMLESS CITY from Eric John Baker, but I’m not sure I’m going to make it. I hate to let someone down, unless that person is me…
Number of video games completed in last 10 years – maybe 5?
Number of knitting projects completed in last 5 years – 2
Number of diets completed in the last 10 years – 1 (but who really ever wins at this?)
Number of short stories started this year – 3
Number of short stories completed this year – 0 (but one of them should be done in the next month)
Number of novels started in last 10 years – 4
Number of children gestated – 2 WIN
Finished business school – 1 WIN
So now we know I have a problem with small- and medium-sized projects. I can keep my head down and get through the larger, life-altering ones. (Although finishing my novel would be life-altering, so why is this one so tough?) Maybe it is being held accountable by others instead of just by myself. I could be more organized, but I’m not completely disorganized in my writing process either.
Do you have any great articles to recommend me on how to up my completion rate?
Here are a couple that I have found:
How to Finish What You Start: A Five-Step Plan for Writers
Three Words to Help You Finish Any Writing Project
I also liked this simple article from the University of Washington’s graduate school:
Managing Large Writing Projects
Stop starting new projects… Gosh, that’s the thing I love to do best. I get real excited about a project, obsess on it for a week, then move onto something else new and shiny. I can see that I’m my own worst enemy. I need to just take a day, write everything down, and save it in a file for later.
Assess your projects and pick one… FOUNDRY MOTH to finish first, then back to THE DREAMLESS CITY.
Decide what “finished” will look like and set some milestones… Finished for me means ready to publish as professionally as my limited experience can manage. As for setting milestones, looks like I need to sit down with my calendar. ;) I like the idea of milestones more than deadlines, which as I mentioned above don’t do much for me. Sure, it might be a matter of semantics, but maybe this will help me get my productivity to the next level.
How about you? Do you have a burning desire to cross things off your To Do List each day? Are you like me, starting new projects without finishing your previous ones? What strategies do you have for finishing your projects?