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Three partly written novels? Sounds like you're suffering no lack of creativity, Carolyn!
Before you can get clear about which writing project to pursue, you first need to get really honest with yourself. You need to explore two important questions:
1. Why you're writing in the first place.
- Because you find writing fun in-and-of-itself?
- To learn the craft?
- To get published? Make a buck (or more)?
2. Why you quit.
Keeping your motivations in mind, take a look at each manuscript. You need to ask yourself:
- Did I quit because I ran into a technical problem I just couldn't solve?
- Did I quit because I'm not sure this story really should be written as a novel?
- Did I quit because the storyline bored me?
- Did I quit because I got bored with the writing process itself?
- Or, honestly, did I quit because I got scared of actually finishing?
Many writers I've coached find that finally finishing an important writing project is incredibly empowering. I can't suggest this enough: after you explore your answers to the above questions, choose one of your manuscripts and decide to realize it fully. See it through to the end.
As you work, remember that this first novel need not necessarily be your last. Allow yourself to learn all you can about your craft. Allow yourself to learn all you can about your ways of working, too. If you're mindful, you'll discover your own "most effective ways" to get started, power through and finish each writing session. The fruits of your labor will be with you throughout your writing career.
How about you? Got an unfinished manuscript (or two) in the drawer? What's been stopping you from finishing?
image credit: JessicaMullen (Flickr.com)
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