Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Writer’s Block (Part 11 of 16)

Writer’s Resistance: Fear of Finishing

I met Vern at a writer's conference and he attended every year. He had an excellent nonfiction book, but he had never written the final chapter. Editors had read portions and wanted the book, and so did several agents. But Vern never finished.

He knew what he wanted in the final chapter and he told the editors and agents, but he couldn't write that final chapter. At the time, I thought Vern was unique; he wasn't. I hear this regularly from people who get thumbs up from editors or agents and never finish.

Vern finally told me why he couldn't finish—why he resisted. "I was depressed before I began to write. That depression went away while I worked on the book. I'm afraid that if I finish the book the depression will return."

I started to reason with him and stopped, because I sensed that anything I said wouldn't help. He'd probably heard all the arguments and suggestions before. I reminded myself that Vern had to make up his mind if he would allow his fear of returning depression to stop his finishing the book.

I have another talented friend who has started 15 books (and possibly more). He has never finished one. His reason isn't the same as Vern's but the result is.

Some writers are afraid to finish a writing project.
They allow their fear to block their creativity.

2 comments:

  1. Oh, no! How sad that we allow the enemy to steal the joy of our gifts through fear.

    A highly-published writer at a conference I attended said that 90% of the writers from whom agents or editors ask for a proposal, never follow through. I determined I would be in that other 10%, and sent my proposals out as promised. In two months, an agent offered me representation. I'm so thankful the Lord used that statistic to urge me forward. I pray I'll keep my determination to overcome fear of finishing, and hope I can help others overcome theirs.

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  2. I never have trouble finishing. I have trouble getting started. I find all kids of reasons to do something else.

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