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Reflecting on Finishing a project

Essays, general essay

I finished a novel last week. Well, the first draft of it. The funny thing is, I wasn’t quite sure what to do with myself.

Feather pen and empty notebook, for reflectioin on finishing a project

Like everyone else, I have a to-do list five miles long, with an endless list of tasks. I have a good idea of what my next first draft is going to be. But finishing a project, particularly a novel, is kind of a weird feeling. Once that draft is done, I know I have to let it simmer. And because it is a first draft, it’s not really done. In fact, a book isn’t really done until it’s published, and even then you can go back and tweak it.

But it is a major project that was completed, and I can’t really pick it up again for a while. It’s done. I have to let it go and work on something else.

And that was my problem. Go work on something else. As I noted, I’ve got tasks, projects, all sorts of things to work on. But this time, I was not in any rush to pick up the next thing. I wanted to settle in with finishing a project, get used to the idea that it was done. Appreciate that it was done.

There’s the key. Because I rush from project to project to project, it sometimes feels like I haven’t accomplished anything. Last week, I took some time to sit with finishing something. A new novel. I had set a deadline for getting it done, reset my schedule to make sure it was a priority, and met my deadline.

I finished a first draft next week. That feels good. And now I’m ready to start the next first draft, get my next book release ready, and go back to work. Because I accomplished something, and when I finish a project, I really need to remember that.

Please talk to me. I'd love to hear from you.

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