Finish Writing Your Novel
Finish What You Start
As a writer [musician or artist] your goal is to create it and get the work to your audience. The first step toward success: Finish What You Started.
Completing creative work is a process that isn’t easy. Often, it is a soul-forging quest to get a creative work from beginning to end. While you could try finding multiple methods to keep motivated, in truth, getting your stuff done comes down to three basic steps in reaching the finish line.
Silence the Inner Critic
The main reason for falling short of completing work is the artist’s Inner Editor. It is the internal voice of perfectionism yelling and correcting everything you write. If left unchecked, it can sabotage creativity and scare off the muse. The first step is to actively shut it down by refusing to edit until the very last word is written, or the final note recorded, or the last stroke painted. Sleep on it, then look at it—the whole work— before revising or editing.
Focus, Sit Down, and Do It
Another step to consider is where your focus is instead of your work? Many writers have multiple creative outlets such as writing and drawing, or music and design, or dancing, painting, and filmmaking. Unfortunately, having many abilities can force an artist to run from one project to another without really getting anything done. Each talent demands the artist’s attention until they are exhausted and depleted. To ease up the stress of the overwhelming stuff to complete, they end up doing something entirely different (usually leisurely), leaving an endless cycle of half-finished-creations.
The solution? You must focus on one thing at a time and follow it through to completion. Rest assured that whatever art is taking a backseat currently, it won’t disappear or go away because you are giving attention to another. You will not be left of an art-form because you are working on another. An example would be how many successful actors manage careers. They will complete a film and then do side projects/art until the next shooting schedule.
Silence the What Ifs
The writer muse has provided artists with a story that wants to be born and released into the world. Often, the responsibility of doing that in the best way possible is enormous. Wanting it to be accepted and applauded, momentum starts to stagger because of negative internal dialogue or the “what ifs.” What if it fails? What if it’s awful? What if I can’t finish? What if people don’t like it? What if, what if, what if! Stop grinding to a halt by focusing on stuff that is out of your control!
The solution? Your only job as an writer is to finish creating, then share it and move on to the next. It’s in the job description, I checked. Note, if you have a business formed from your art, there are many steps after the completion of the work depending on your business model. But, you have to have the product to do that.