The Write Life: Finish that Story!
When I was writing my first book, I had a friend who was working on their first book as well. Five years later, I have seven books under my belt and three more underway. My friend? Still hasn't finished that first book. Is my friend unique in this? Absolutely not. I've talked to several people over the years who, upon hearing that I'm an author, will tell me that they're working on a book. A book that sadly will never materialize. Chances are good that you know someone in this predicament as well, or you might even be that person yourself. For you, and for them, I say, "Finish that story!"
Look, I get it. As someone who's published a few books, I can say with all honesty that finishing a book is hard. Really hard. Writing the beginning is pretty easy. You have the idea, you start writing, things are going well, and then: bam...you hit the middle of the book. I call it the Mid-Story Crisis, or MSC. The middle of every book is like a reaching the base of a mountain during a strenuous hike. You've done pretty well, you're feeling good, but you pause at the base as you stare up the side of the mountain and think about all that will have to happen in order to reach the top. You know when you reach the top that it will all be downhill from there - albeit a few snags - but the real problem is scaling the mountain.
That, my friends, is the middle of every book. You will get to the top, but you have to keep going, even if it means going slower. Hitting the middle of each of my books has been a challenge and I combat those challenges in various ways:
- I'll write at least (AT LEAST) one sentence a day. It's not much, but it keeps you moving in the right direction and it keeps your feet firmly planted in your story. Both important.
- I'll sit down and write a few sentences that describe how I want the next few chapters to go. It keeps me thinking about the story and it gives me a guideline to work from.
- I'll watch videos and read articles/books that are of the same topic as my book. This, again, helps me stay planted in my own story and gives me inspiration for my own. Now, you're not trying to copy anyone else's work, you're just trying to keep your mindset in your story.
- I have a dedicated time, or two, that I reserve just for writing. This gives me some discipline and a routine. It's easier for me to stay focused if I have a work schedule.
There are other ways, I'm sure, to combat the dreaded MSC, but these are the main tactics I use to help me reach the summit of my story. You can use these or other methods, but either way, finish that story! It can be hard, but it's the most rewarding thing you can do if you want to be a writer. Being a writer is more than actually writing, it's putting out your finished product. Good luck.