Seeing Things Through
What is about finishing things that get people worked up? I don't just mean for the people who don't finish things, but also for the people who are waiting for some people to finish things. There are many things in life that people don't finish, or follow through on. Many people start projects that are never completed. Ideas start to fruition, then flounder into nothing. And, is the case with writers such as myself, many start books, but never finish them.
There are two reoccurring themes in each scenario: 1. A great idea was formed, and 2. There were good intentions. This means that many great ideas are come up with, with the greatest of intentions, but for whatever reason, the idea faded into obscurity. The worst of these to fade are the ones that are actually started, halfway there, or close to completion; particularly the last one.
I, myself, understand this failure to finish all too well. I tried quitting smoking a few times before I was actually successful. One time, I even made it a few weeks before failing yet again. My first book, Cold, sat on my computer--three chapters in--for two years before I picked up where I left off and finished it. My best intentions were there, but I just didn't have the follow-through at the time.
Finally quitting smoking was the first time I really felt like I had "finished what I had started". This feeling intensified when I finished Cold and was followed by feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction. You want to hear a confession? Cold isn't that great of a book. Look, it's not bad, but it's just...well...okay. And that's all right. Each book I've written since then has been a true learning experience, and I can see how much I've changed and grown as a writer during the process. That book paved the way for better books and better writing.
So, why don't we finish those pesky things we start? Is it because we lose our passion for that thing after we get started? Is it because we run out of inspiration? Is it because we're afraid of failing, and that the end product will be terrible? Truthfully, it's probably a combination of those things, and maybe a few other reasons.
We need to move past those in order to finish things. Finishing things is seeing things through, and that's important for a few reasons. When we complete projects, we prove to ourselves that we can do it and that we're not afraid to fail sometimes. Every thing we see through leads the way for more things to be completed, giving us a satisfaction that would otherwise be lacking. It also means that we're more confident in our abilities, that we'll try new things, and leaves us with a sense of achievement.
So, wrap-up that project, book, painting, guitar lesson, organizing your closet, or what-have-you. Then, complete another. I'm glad everyday that I quit smoking or that I finished that first book. I've finished more books since then, but I wouldn't have if I hadn't of finished the first one.