Updated: Jun 10, 2018
More from the Writer Rehab Series.
Which is more difficult, getting a request from an agent or editor, or fulfilling that request?
In my humble opinion, fulfilling that request-FAILURE TO 'THE END'-seems to be one of the most common writer diseases, paralleling the dreaded Goldilocks Syndrome.
Raise your hand if you have ever had a request and not followed through. Aha! I rest my case.
Let's chat about why FAILURE TO 'THE END' occurs.
There are plenty of seemingly valid reasons why writers stop writing before they hit the end.
Which of these can you identify with?
1. Life gets in the way-this includes, death, illness, finances, time & energy and Mother Nature.
2. Fear-Suddenly it occurs to you that you might not be a writer. You might be a fraud who really can't write the book.
3. Fear of Success-You don't want things to change because your life is insane enough as it is. How will you add a publisher deadline and author publicity to the mix?
4. Writer A.D.D.-Distraction by a shiny new brilliant idea.
5. Falling out of Love-Contests and/or critiquers have yielded confusing responses and suddenly you're looking at your story without much love.
6. Chasing the Market-The hot new genre isn't what you're writing.
7. Story Implosion-You're 45K into your WIP (work in progress) and the plot begins to unravel or you begin to suspect that you have no plot, and your characters are rumbling with threats of mutiny.
The reality is that all of the above can seem like or may actually be valid reasons to leave your manuscript behind. And if you think I am going to attempt to tell you why your rationale is skewed, you would be wrong.
No one can make you finish the book.
I will, however tell you why you should write to the end.
Five Simple Reasons:
1. Choices- Every time you write the end, you the writer increase your choices. Your options. One completed manuscript, two, three or more, allows you to decide your future. Traditional publishing or self-publishing?
The choice is yours. The more manuscripts you have, the more choices you have when determining your publishing strategy. More manuscripts really plays a significant role in increasing your visibility as a self-published author or traditionally published author. Your book is your product.
2. Mathematics- Whether you are traditionally publishing or self publishing you're going to rely on your high school algebra to figure out your writing and revising pace.
When you get that traditional contract and the editor asks how much time you need to do revisions or what the timing needs to be on the release of your books in that multi book contract you need to do the math. 90K divided by 3 months = WHAT?
In determining how you will release 3 self published novels in 12 months, you must also do the math.
Writing THE END and tracking your writing pace determines your writing future. If you have a bad case of Failure to 'The End,' this is going to be problematic.
3. Opportunity- This is where you pull out your very favorite quote on opportunity.
Success is where opportunity and preparation meet. -Bobby Unser
You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. - Wayne Gretzky
Every single time you write THE END and tuck away a manuscript you have prepared yourself for a future opportunity. When the market turns or an editor makes a call out for manuscript or a contest comes along, you will have inventory that will allow you to partake in that opportunity.
Check out Manuscript Wish List to see what I am talking about.
4. Leverage- by definition: : influence or power used to achieve a desired result. A proven track record for completion of manuscripts increases your leverage. Additionally, when an agent or editor asks what else you have, you are ready to discuss all those manuscripts that have THE END on them.
5. Endorphins- Completing a project releases endorphins. The case could be made that finishing a book releases so many endorphins that it is better than...well, you get my point.
So don't quit. Resist the urge to stop writing, until you reach the sweetest words known to any writer, THE END.