Deciding to Follow-Through

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

On Fridays, I receive Hope Clark’s newsletter, Funds for Writers. Here’s a thought-provoking essay from a recent email:

Steven Pressfield (the author of The War of Art) speaks about the difficulty of pushing through and reaching THE END of whatever you are writing. It could be a poetry chapbook. It could be a memoir. It could be fiction of any genre or any word count. It could be a how-to on cabinetmaking or a children’s picture book. A lot of writers struggle with perfecting an effort and reaching THE END.

Why? Because that is the point where you let others read it . . . and get feedback. That is when you submit for publication . . . and get feedback. The feedback is the thrill and the agony of writing, and sometimes we feel safer just saying we’re still writing it, because that is the world in which we feel safest.

What are we afraid of?

-Being told it’s just okay. Or worse, that it’s bad, but frankly, once we hear it’s okay the meaning is the same.

-Prematurely releasing your darling in the world. But who’s to say when it’s premature?

-Learning after all that time invested that we really do not know what we are doing. It’s called being a phony.

Look across social media. When an author talks about typing THE END, or submitting to the publisher, or having a release date, a lot of the public admire first and foremost the fact that the author got to that point. You think it. I think it. Everyone thinks it.

There’s a reason that authors continually get asked the questions: “What is your work regimen?” and “Where do you get your ideas?” Successful freelancers get asked similar questions. The basic underlying question is “How do you make it all the way through . . . then do it again?”

It’s magic. It’s a genetic gift. It’s a unique upbringing.

No, it’s deciding to follow-through. And nothing on this earth gets in your way in doing this but you.

Sign up to receive Hope Clark’s newsletter here.

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