New authors are sometimes so freaked out about finishing their books, that they underestimate the responsibility of getting started.

When you make the decision to start writing a book, you are making the commitment to finish it. Whether in months or years, a book started must eventually be finished. Well, technically, there is an alternative – carrying around the weight of an unfinished project.

What does that feel like? In a word – failure.

As a writer I know this because I’ve felt it, carrying it around on my back at various times in my life. The excitement and mighty spark of a fresh new writing idea sends words flooding onto the page for a time. Then, a series of obstacles, life’s distractions, a better shinier object comes along, or sometimes, the anxiety of actually following through, leads to mind games.

Questions show up, like – “What if the project is actually a success? Then what will I do? What if it’s a failure? What will people think? What if the final product doesn’t match the glory of my initial vision?” It all becomes too stressful and the project moves from desk to closet shelf.

But like a science fiction monster, it refuses to die. Every once in a while something reminds you of your book. It calls to you in your sleep – “Write me! Finish me! Why don’t you love me anymore?” Suddenly, your back starts to ache.

What unfinished labor of love are you carrying around? What’s weighting down your creative soul? How long do you plan on carrying that thing around with you?


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