Real writers don’t leave work unfinished.

During my emerging author days, a noted publishing industry insider told me: “You’d be amazed at the number of writers you get ahead of just by finishing.”  Another informed me:  “There is only one truism in publishing – if you never finish the story, you’ll never see the book.”  Finishing is important, just as important as starting.  And many argue it’s a lot tougher than its ‘creative honeymoon’ counterpart.   

Do you have to finish every time?  No.  I have a few open-ended projects among my files.  A fewThey’re outnumbered by my completed (and published) works.  Those projects I pulled the ejector seat on weren’t dudded due to inertia or forgetfulness or attention deficit disorder; invariably they died a natural death at the hands of, as Hemingway put it, my ‘bullshit meter’.  They were average ideas that couldn’t be made great, no matter the quality of prose.  It happens. 

It shouldn’t happen every time.  If you find yourself hating everything you commence, and consistently ending up with less than the whole, you’re probably hiding cowardice under the cloak of pursuing perfection.  If you absolutely must be a hater of your own creations, then at least be a hater who finishes.  And hang a poster of Woody Allen on your bedroom wall.