Hey, guys! Welcome to the inaugural Monday Muse of 2016! (Note: I did not type 2015 on accident! I am so proud of myself right now.) Today is going to be short, but sweet:
You have got to finish what you start.
Yeah. That’s really it.
It’s fun to start. You get this amazing flash of genius and, in the haze of creative euphoria that is the honeymoon period, everything just seems to flow from your fingertips like a river of coffee. Delicious, beautiful, production-inducing coffee. Planning, research, character sketches, and note cards. So many note cards. Or, you know, whatever people use in the 21st century. You begin to bleed words onto the page, hour after hour of this amazing story pouring from you as if the gods themselves have decreed it to be so.
And then the euphoria wears off and the voice of the gods fades away. The words slow to a trickle, a slow trudge uphill (both ways!) against the twin specters of procrastination and B.P.S. (Blank Page Syndrome). You’re still bleeding words, but this time it feels like you’re a vampire squeezing the last drops out of a completely drained vein. It’s not fun anymore; now it feels like pulling teeth. So you put the project aside, and your grand plan is no more. Oh, you say you’ll go back later…but you probably won’t. And so another great idea is left to rot.
That shit is sad. That is the saddest thing in the writing world. A bunch of half-formed stories, plotted and begun, but never, ever reaching their end. What a waste.
Thing is, you gotta finish. You’ve got to push through the doldrums and the periods where being creative feels like work. Because even the most creative endeavor needs work, and is work. It wouldn’t be worth it if it weren’t work. So, if you really want it all to mean something–if you want to have a thing in this world that’s all yours–you’ve got to finish what you start.
Just like us. Oh yeah…did I mention we finished our draft? Yeah. We did. Did I write this entire Muse just to get to this point? Perhaps. Do you want proof? Here it is!
Yes. Along with the delicious glass of cider, that is two pages of the most beautiful thing I have ever created in my life. Double-sided printing got it down to 125 pages. Currently, it sits at 151,000 words of amazingly beautiful everything. Will I have to murder large swathes of it to make it better? Yes, I will. But will I take today to bask in the glory of what A and I made? You bet your ass. This is an amazing thing. And why is it amazing?
Because we damn well finished it! And you should finish your projects, too.
It’s totally worth it.