The Power of Done and the Danger of Somethings

Last Monday was a pretty awesome evening.

I plotted out the final scene for the next story I plan to write.

In the year since the hard truth, I’ve tried to put everything I’ve learned about story structure into this one and I’m quite happy with the results. I daydreamed all day yesterday about the potential I see in my outline. That’s when it occurred to me that it’s been a year since I’ve finished anything writerly.

Plenty of ideas have come out of my head and some have even made it to the planning stages. Have I followed any of these through to Done? Nope. In fact, I got into such a cycle of always working on Something, I forgot the exhilarating feeling of Done. I know, how could anyone forget that feeling?

There are tons of reasons and all of them are just variations of self-sabotage. For me, the reasons are kind of irrelevant because once I figure out the cause of one, another easily takes its place. All of them keeping me so busy working on Something, that I don’t realize I’m running in place. What does it matter if I read a stack of craft books or write cool blog posts or have these amazing ideas if none of it leads to Done? Well, Monday reminded me that Somethings only kick ass when you’ve got your eye firmly planted on Done.

Every book I read, every movie or TV show I watch, every song I listen to, are examples of people achieving Done. And that’s just in entertainment. Look around and there are examples of Done everywhere.

There’s a temptation to outline a different Something because the Done outline is, well, done. But the bigger picture of Done isn’t complete and I have to remember that. I want to take this outline and write it into a book. It’s okay if it’s not good and needs massive revisions. Needing revisions means I brought that draft to Done. It doesn’t matter if I decide to scrap it after a first draft. At least I brought it to Done and have valuable lessons to take with me for the next idea. The point is to follow through once I start.

Are you drowning in Somethings vying for your attention? I know the feeling, but I made a deal with the loudest Something to make it into Done. Do the same and tell the rest to just wait their turn.

3 comments on “The Power of Done and the Danger of Somethings

  1. I don’t really have this problem because I can’t stand to work on another SOMETHING until I have the first one DONE. In fact, I envy authors that can work on more than one story at a time. I tried it…I can’t. But it sounds like you’re talking more about laying down the SOMETHING and picking up another SOMETHING.

    I’m glad you finished your outline. And now it’s time to start writing. Yes, you may have to do some revisions. But I bet you won’t have to scrap it after the first draft. With Kait and Susan in your corner, you’re going to have lots of help! 🙂 DONE feels good, doesn’t it?

  2. My only friend, The End. (have to take the opportunity to quote that as the only Doors fan in this house full of savages)

    I don’t visit my friend The End very often. Ours is an uneasy alliance. Generally because he’s got a lot of pushy roommates like criticism and judgment.

    So I kinda feel like this post was written just for me, because I needed the reminder of the Awesomeness of Done. Thanks!

  3. LL- Done feels great! You are a shining example of achieving Done. I’ve already started writing my draft and I agree, I think I’m passed the point of sucking so hard I have to scrap the whole book. Don’t know if I’m at the level of writing a highly efficient first draft that needs little revision, though. Still, big step up from sucking hard!

    Susan- You might be right. There might be a bunch of savages in this town. I did think about you when I wrote this (Though not in the weird way this sentence sounds) so I’m glad it spoke to you. You should also know the Awesomeness of Done is even better for us! You know my goldfish brain can’t remember half the things you tell me about HUS. I need a book!

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