Stop Forcing Yourself to Finish Everything You Write
When it comes to writing, the beauty of a rough draft is that you can return to it at any point
One of my biggest pet peeves in life is unfinished projects — or just starting anything in general and not finishing it. It could be a story that I’m in the middle of telling, a movie that I only got halfway through, a meal that I ate at literally any restaurant, or worst of all, an unfinished draft of an article that I’ve written in the past.
I don’t know what it is, but I just hate the thought of things being left unfinished. I hate half-baked ideas, half-baked plans, half-completed tasks, all of it. And I think a large part of that could be the type A side of my personality, but whatever the reason may be, it’s something that just really gets on my nerves. As a Writer though, this pretty much sets myself up for a lifetime of failure and disappointment because Writers are constantly starting drafts of work that may or may not eventually get published.
Personally, I know that I’m constantly jotting down random ideas for articles, brainstorming potential headlines, or even just documenting passing thoughts that float through my mind. But, that doesn’t mean that every passing thought that I have necessarily turns into a great article. Sometimes, those passing thoughts don’t serve any purpose at all. Sometimes, they just need to be acknowledged and that’s the end of it.
However, there are of course those special moments when one seemingly tiny, random thought does turn into something great. It turns into a well-crafted, whole-hearted, compelling piece of writing — unfortunately, that doesn’t happen every single time we start writing something new. If it did, we’d all be extremely successful, renowned Writers. Many of us dream for that to become a reality and attempt to do so by constantly forcing ourselves to finish our articles…but, we shouldn’t force it.
Like myself, many of us try to force ourselves into finishing our work just because we think that publishing any article is better than publishing no article at all…but the truth is, forcing an article into being finished is like taking a meal out of the oven before it’s fully cooked. It’s half-baked and will probably taste exactly that way. And that’s exactly what you would be serving to your readers if you force yourself into finishing every single article you write.
As much as I hate leaving things unfinished, I also know that some drafts are better left untouched (at least until I’m ready to start working on it again). In the past, I often regretted forcing an article out of me just for the sake of getting it out in the world. I later realize that I forced myself into finishing it, then end up editing it anyways — that, or I just can’t stand that article.
We can’t get so carried away with getting to the end product that we avoid going through the process that’s required to create something great. What we need to understand is that the process is what makes something great.
So, stop forcing yourself to finish everything you write
Allow yourself the time to gather additional supporting arguments, additional talking points, and other ideas wherever they’re needed. And if all the necessary talking points are there, then allow yourself the time to fine tune everything; to revise and edit properly. Don’t force an article to come to an end just because you’re tired of it sitting idly in your drafts section or because you’re through with writing and editing.
When it comes to writing, the beauty of a rough draft is that you can return to it at any point. And who knows, your opinions may change later down the road. You may not feel the same way that you felt when you initially started. The end product doesn’t always come out the way you envisioned, but that’s okay.