The New Thing

A new story is a shiny thing. So much possibility all swirling around in your head. Sometimes, if it’s a real good idea, you can almost take the entire thing and picture it in front of you. A completed manuscript, full of twists and turns and all kinds of juicy characters.

It’s dangerous, addictive stuff. The idea that an idea can be more than just an idea with a bit of effort. When you’re picturing that great new tale, whatever it is you’ve been working on seems a little dull. The sparkle is gone. Why keep working on it when there’s this wonderful thing you just thought of?

There’s a value to finishing projects you’ve started that isn’t immediately apparent when you’re in the trenches. Even if it’s a story that won’t sell. Or you’re halfway through and realize that it’s not the best thing ever. Finishing a project teaches you things that you don’t get from throwing it out the door. Plus, then you have something else to wave at people who wonder about your qualifications.

In short, when you have a great idea, drop it down on paper. Flesh it out and file it away as something to play with next. You have all the time in the world to write, but if you never finish what you start, it’s going to be a habit that keeps you from getting where you want to go.

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