When I think about how many years it's been since I published my last book, it’s hard not to think about all the things I’ve left unfinished in the past. I don’t like to talk about these things because I’d prefer it if everyone thought, “Oh wow, that girl’s got amazing follow-through!” Because when you’re a kid you always hear, “You can do anything you put your mind too!”
Well, I put my mind to a lot of things and sometimes I get distracted. I’ve had a lot of failed blogs, lots of false starts on new novels, and I have an entire file folder called "Unfinished" that is dedicated to empty documents with really great short story titles. Do I get bored? Am I obsessed with the feeling that newness brings? How easily am I seduced by novelty?
Thinking about failure like this is a quick way to make a girl depressed, let me tell you. If you sum my life up as a resume of things I started and didn’t finished, it wouldn’t fit on one page… also, it’d be the lamest resume ever created in the history of humankind. Does the resume of things I have completed stand up?
But in my usual fickle way, one that annoyingly-optimistic Pollyanna would be proud to have inspired, I eventually turn to look at things like this from a positive perspective. After all, everything has a light side… clouds with silver linings and what not. Cliches aside, I can probably say that I start more than most people. So I don’t finish everything. Who can? I do the best I can and I know when to cut my losses or shift gears or whatever you want to call it.
If I look at that list of started novels–that paranormal series, that private eye series, those books in the Garden Variety romance series, books for Phoebe and Mackenzie and Kimmy and Bernsie, Superheroes (there’s a winner… ugh), Thirty or Bust, or Rent This (oh, college)...oh god, there are so many more–at least I can be proud that I opened up a document and started typing. Not all words need to have a destination, they’re all part of the journey.
Ooh! Can I use that line in a book somewhere?
Anyway, I hope you see my point. If you’ve got a 100% completion rate but you’ve only ever started two or three things in your entire life, is that better than a 25% completion rate when you’ve started two or three hundred things? Ask Tom Brady, I’d bet he’d rather throw the ball more often than not, even if his teammates can’t get underneath it every time. Because who knows which one of those will be a touchdown pass?
Maybe I just need to work on my aim.