#atozblogchallenge F is for Finish It!

by Lillian Csernica on April 6, 2019


I can sum up the secrets of writing success in two words: Finish it!

Everybody loves the beginning. Even when it’s difficult and you don’t know where it start. That first flush of creativity, the excitement over a new idea, can be addictive. So addictive, in fact, that when the shine of a new idea wears off and the doldrums of rewriting set in, people often abandon a project for something new.

That way lies disaster.

Most writers have several ideas sitting around in various stages of development. It’s what we do. Successful writers figure out which ideas have the most potential and invest time and effort in developing those projects. Agents won’t look at unfinished manuscripts. Editors don’t buy unfinished stories. Readers don’t read either of these because unfinished projects never get published.

Finish it.

When I wrote my first fantasy novel, I hit a rough patch about 3/4 of the way through. For three solid weeks I thought every word I wrote was worthless. Every single day I had to bully myself through my word quota. Eventually I got through it and completed the manuscript. When I got to that “worthless” section later during the editing process, it wasn’t really all that bad.


When I wrote Ship of Dreams, my boys were both quite young. I wasn’t getting much sleep. There were lots of doctor appointments. When John was around 4 or 5 years old, we discovered he’s autistic. That was heartbreaking on top of all of Michael’s difficulties. Once again I hit that stage at the 3/4 mark where I couldn’t stand the story and wanted to give up. I also had a disk crash that cost me a chunk of work. Even with all this going on, and with the help of my agent, I completed the manuscript. That book sold.

Whatever you’re writing, finish it. Only when you get all the way to what you think is the ending, will you have a better idea of where the story should start. This is why they’re called roughdrafts. Just do it. Get it written. Throw everything at the page until you reach the end. Take a break. Step back. Let it cool. Then begin the edit and the rewrite.

Checkered, Chequered, FINISH


Filed under #atozchallenge, Blog challenges, doctors, Family, Fiction, historical fiction, Lillian Csernica, love, marriage, neurodiversity, parenting, pirates, publication, romance, special education, specialneeds, tall ships, Writing

10 responses to “#atozblogchallenge F is for Finish It!

  1. I just had the pleasure of doing just that, and it’s an amazing feeling. Good advice!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks! I needed that. Good advice and excellent timing. I MUST finish it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Is this aimed specifically at me? It is, isn’t it? Oh, all right!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Agreed Lillian! I’m working on it, honestly!

    I don’t know if I’ve written to you about my novel, so my apologies if I have.

    Alias Jeannie Delaney is the life story of a devastating cowgirl who’s the fastest gun in the west and bisexual. She’s a cowgirl, outlaw leader, jailbird, deputy sheriff, rancher and mayor. I used to be embarrassed about the subject matter and kept the details secret – people knew I was writing it but I would never show them – until I recovered from depression and anxiety.

    Now Husband is helping me with the editing and he’s excellent at it. It’s over five parts long so I’m having to work out how to self-publish it. My daughter is a historical romance novelist so we get a lot of advice from her.

    So, yes, I’m working on it and actually enjoying some of the process. The conference is growing although I still can’t read it out to my writing group. Perhaps the time will come.

    Jo, Hampshire UK Creating My Odyssey – Liberating the Real Me After Thirty Years Of Depression and Anxiety www jo-b-creative.blogspot.co.uk

    On Sat, 6 Apr 2019, 14:03 Hopes and Dreams: My Writing and My Sons LillianC posted: “by Lillian Csernica on April 6, 2019 I can sum up the > secrets of writing success in two words: Finish it! Everybody loves the > beginning. Even when it’s difficult and you don’t know where it start. That > first flush of creativity, the excitement over a ” >

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jo Bennett

    Thanks Lillian!


  6. I always think: doesn’t matter if it sucks, you’ll rewriter it in any case, so it’s better to have a crap of a frist draft to work on that nothing and creat from scratch.
    That’s also why I never look back. I write the first draft beginning to end and never edit a single words. I make changes, I deviate from the first idea, my first draft is an incoherent patchwork of all the ideas I get. But it doesn’t matter. Nobody is going to see the first draft. But once I get to the end, everything becomes more manageable. It really does 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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