A new year has begun, and as we settle back into our usual lives, some things might be left in the dust. Ideas unfulfilled. Projects uncompleted. Novels never begun, and stories never realized. Life has that oh so hilarious habit of sticking its finger right where your motivation lies. In other words, life happens. Work, family, school…it all requires time and thought. So sometimes we, as writers both hobbyist and professional, can find a number of ideas or projects left behind because of our crazy schedules.
Disheartening? Perhaps a little. But most of us won’t probably notice as we continue through the year. There’s always tomorrow, we say. Yet tomorrow never seems to come.
One of the biggest messages I try to share with other writers is the necessity of completing a piece. You learn so much from the process of writing and even more from the process of completion. You get to see an idea flower and a story arc grow from beginning to end. You learn about how you pace a story, how you handle a dramatic arc, how you design suspense, tension, and conflict. Ideas are only the first spark. When you work and finish that long overdue piece, it is the greatest feeling in the world.
I, too, have been guilty of leaving projects undone in favor of others, of being caught up in the whirlwind of life. There are many that I want to accomplish. If I can just finish one I have neglected, no matter how well I do it, I will have learned so much and will have added another piece to my portfolio. There’s an immense degree of satisfaction and self-fulfillment in that.
I say we make a promise to ourselves to blow off the dust from that manuscript, that story, that idea we have been kicking around in our heads. Let’s work on that piece, that poem, that novel, that memoir, instead of just saying “I’ll do it tomorrow.” Let’s tackle those projects. Let’s write.
Tomorrow is today.