30 April

Stop Petting Your Blofeld Cat...


We've not met in person, but I know you well.
You have a pet Work In Progress manuscript that is not finished, that you sit down and pick at every once in a while... and have done for the last decade!
Yesss, I know, you WUV your pet WIP.
I see you lovingly stroke it like Ernest Stavro Blofeld did to his white Persian cat in the '67 Bond flick, You Only Live Twice.
Here's the deal:
Time and fiddling do NOT make you a better writer.
Many completed works do.
And if you never finish this first work, to know what mistakes were made and what successes were achieved, you will NEVER acquire the skills needed to complete another work ever again.
Yesss, some writers take a decade or more to finish a great work, BUT those writers are upper-level profs who have long studied the craft and/or have finished and published many shorter works before this long-drafted novel. All the Light We Cannot See and Winds of War spring to mind.
My guess, you are none of the above.
Sorry, man, but I'm here to help you finish your book.
Not humor you.
Where you are right now in your craft, you simply cannot know what works and what doesn't, and as yet haven't a clue how to complete a long work, so you CAN move onto the next to up your skill set to create better works.
Again, this issue is mostly psychological.
Subconsciously, you know if you don't finish this pet WIP, then in your mind every good outcome is still possible, and as there have been no critical eyes on the piece to tarnish your belief that THIS work soars above all others for all time, your Ego has not yet been bruised. Yes, writers have fantastic imaginations and wear their hearts on their sleeves...;-)
Thus, you will never complete a work which soars UNTIL you've completed MANY less stratospheric works. Fact. The word "completed" being the operative here.
HOMEWORK: decide TODAY that come hell or high water, or purely pedestrian prose, your pet WIP WILL be finished, so you are free to start another.
Your first book will never be your best book.
I know, harsh truth, but that's a writer's reality right there.
Accept these facts, and move on.
Stop petting your Blofeld cat.

No comments: