author, creative writing, writing

5 things I learned finishing a story I almost gave up on

The book I’m working on now has tried and tested me. I only just made my way through the stubborn first draft, and am now trying to put together its fractured pieces. But before the draft was finished, I considered giving up a number of times. These are some of the things I learned through persistence:

Writing is hard
I always knew this. Part of the thrill of writing is practising and watching your skill in the craft adapt and grow. I’ve always found writing came to me incredibly naturally, but not with this story. This one sat me down, and made me feel as though I’d never written a word in my entire life.
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It’s okay to adjust your goals
My original goal for this project was to have the first draft complete by the end of December 2019. I eventually finished it in mid-April 2020. Missing a goal/deadline is so disheartening, so I learned to adapt to this simple fact; it’s okay to adjust your goals. Rather than sink beneath the anguish of missing your target, focus your energy on reaching a new one. Life is unpredictable, and there’s no shame in things taking longer than you expected.
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A little every day is enough
I wrote a whole post on this, because the truth of this is so freeing. It’s better to write one page than nothing. Hell, it’s better to write once sentence than nothing. And if some days all you manage is one sentence, then that’s okay. You’re still a step closer to your goals.
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The sense of achievement is staggering
Finishing a project is important. Your learn so much about the writing process by sticking at something, and seeing it through despite the bumps in the ride. And when you finally do reach a goal, be it the end of a draft, or another round of edits, the sense of achievement is staggering. That’s the reward for carrying on.
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Never give up
You might not think you’ve got it in you, but you have. Never give up, don’t let those writer’s worries and doubtsget you down. There’s a quote I love, from the book Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom, that says “Don’t let go too soon, but don’t hold on too long.” I think this is key. If you really can’t connect with the story, and you feel you’d flourish by starting a new project, then that’s okay. But if deep down you still really want to write that book, then don’t let go to soon. You’ll get there.
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Don’t let go too soon, but don’t hold on too long.” – Mitch Albom, Tuesdays With Morrie


Do you have any tips for pushing through when your work in progress is challenging you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Until then,
Keep writing,
M
x

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8 thoughts on “5 things I learned finishing a story I almost gave up on”

  1. What a great quote. I can see why you like it. It really aligns with writing. Congrats on finishing your draft, Meelie. It’s tough when you want something to work and it just doesn’t feel like it is. So glad to hear you got there in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yup. I totally agree. I have decided to start posting my story to WordPress just to get it out because I am anxious that I will never get the chance to publish it big time, I’m almost done writing my first chapter!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much! I just finished the first chapter today and I am editing it using Grammarly now! My hope is that it will be up by the end of the week! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Well done on completing your draft. We tend to underestimate how difficult a task that is. Congratulations!!
    Because I write them in a linear formate, I sometimes get truly stuck: I’ve found it’s usually an issue with the last scene. It might need cutting or rewriting to make the story flow.
    Saying that, you’ve had a busy year. I bet all the wedding planning took up a huge chunk of your creativity. 💜💜

    Like

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