|one of many unfinished novels|
I wrote as a child
But then... sometimes things get fuzzy, a fog settles in. I don't know which way to turn, or where. And lo, is that another new idea buzzing in the distance? Maybe that's a better idea. If I don't chase it, it might just disappear!
And there's this: if I never finish the story, if I never reach THE END, the idea remains viable, sparkling, alive. I haven't failed.
Which means, not finishing is mostly related to FEAR. If I don't finish, and you never read it, then you can't say it needs work or it fails completely. It seems a safe-r place to be. But it's not the way to be an artist.
The way to be an artist is to develop the discipline to carry our buzzy ideas all the way to THE END. To tunnel through that fear, to allow our plots to fail, our characters to flounder, our sentences to fall apart. There is no such thing as "wasted time." It all matters, each and every word. It all helps get us where we need to be. And then, only then, in the midst of all that wreckage, can a beautiful, breathing thing emerge.
This is what I tell myself when I am ready to dump a project: At least, at least one draft. Be brave enough to take it all the way to THE END.
Let the story live!