Saturday, June 6, 2009

Finish Your Shift

I recently listened to a writing workshop given by Jodi Thomas. One of the lessons she learned as a teen and applies to her writing keeps playing in my mind: Finish your shift. Translation: Finish your book. If it's completed, rewrite it. If it's rewritten, submit it.

I love doing revisions, doing research. It's the new stuff that comes hard for me. Getting those words on the page in the first place, that's my struggle.

While listening to Jodi's workshop, I realized that as a kid I loved working on various projects, but sometimes I didn't finish them. Who am I kidding? Most of the time I didn't finish them. I think it's because if I finished it, it would be done. Over. Completed. Then what? I didn't have a money tree in my yard, so I made projects last as long as I could.

I think it's the same with writing. If I finish the story, then what? I'll have to create a new one. Then the fear sets in. What if the words won't come? It's almost easier not writing, than risking the words not coming.


Mary Ricksen said...

That's truly introspective. The advantage to finishing one book, is that you can start another one that will be even better.
Playing it safe gets you nowhere, trust me.

Penny Rader said...

Thanks, Mary. I'm definitely working on getting beyond playing it safe. In my head I know I need to jump in wholeheartedly instead of dipping in a toe. It's the "just do"ing it part that's kind of hanging me up.