Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Finish Line

During grad school, I was on the wrong end of a spectacularly brief but forceful lecture on the importance of finishing. The context: a short story was dragging on across the months without reaching a conclusion. The cause: I have a chronic inability to commit to short-term undertakings. I'm not a one-night stand kind of girl. I appreciate monogamy, novels, Quentin Tarantino films. Things that require a long-term investment (seriously, Jackie Brown clocks in at like two hours and forty minutes).

But my professor was right. It's important to finish what you start, be it a joke or just a jokey excuse of a story. So I've recently decided to make a commitment to my writing: if I start a piece (blog post, poem, story, essay), I have to see it through to the end. 

This doesn't mean that it ever has to see the light of day. It just means that I can't allow myself to stall out in the middle of something and give up on it. I may put it aside. I may revise what I've written and then proceed. But I may not throw it away. It has to end somewhere.

What kind of writing promises have you made to yourself? Are they more or less drastic than this?


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