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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Finish Your Novel

Finish what you start.
post by Michelle Griep

** steps up to the podium **

** blows air into microphone because that's what all the cool rock stars do **

** excessive feedback rips a hole in everyone's eardrums **

In case you can't tell, I have an important announcement to make. Are you listening? Do I have your full attention? Yeah, you, the one who thinks no one sees you texting all covertly. Here's the deal, people . . .

Finish what you start.

Yeah, I know. You've been hearing that since Mrs. Spackfinkle had you in her evil clutches in preschool. But it's as true now as it was when you were three. You have to finish what you start, and I'm talking finish writing your novel. Why? Several reasons, actually. 

Top 5 Reasons to Finish Your Novel

You'll feel like a champion instead of a loser.
We've all been there, slogging around in Loserville, feeling like slackers because of an unfinished manuscript. That, my friend, is a depressing place to live. But guess what? You don't have to. Just write the end of your story, even if it's schlocky writing, and I guarantee you that you'll feel a euphoric sense of accomplishment.

It develops a good habit.
Writing an entire novel isn't just about writing an entire novel. It's way more existential than that. The discipline of tackling a monumental task such as penning a story from beginning to end carries over into other parts of your life. Plus, once you've finished one manuscript, you'll have the confidence that you can finish another.

It puts your money where your mouth is.
Half the entire Northern Hemisphere says they're going to write a book some day. To which I say, "Yeah, right," and then blow a juicy raspberry. If you want others to trust you, then do what you say you're going to do.

You can't fix what you haven't written.
Don't get all bent out of shape worrying about putting down the right words, creating the most awesome characters ever invented, or twisting the plot into a pretzel with nacho cheese oozing over the top. Fear is the great smack down, stopping writers in their tracks. But it's a lie. It's a great big fat ugly and assorted other adjectives kind of lie. You can always go back and edit or spit shine something you've written, but you can't if you haven't written it in the first place. Savvy?

Because it will make you a better person.

I know. This sounds like a stupid, made-up reason, but it's not. Writing a novel works your brain, enhancing your creativity and critical thinking skills, giving you expanded insight into big picture problem solving.

So, what are you waiting for? Type away, little cowboys, and finish your manuscript. Just do it. You'll be glad you did, and isn't that better than feeling like a failure?

Like what you read? There’s more. WRITER OFF THE LEASH: GROWING IN THE WRITING CRAFT is a kick in the pants for anyone who wants to write but is stymied by fear, doubt, or simply doesn’t know how to take their writing to the next level.

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. Follow her adventures and find out about upcoming new releases at her blog, Writer Off the Leash, or stop by her website. You can also find her at the usual haunts of FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.


  1. Well said, Michelle. I tell my Teen Writers Publish! podcast listeners that the best thing they can do is finish that first novel, even though it is certainly not good. If they can develop the habits to finish a disaster of a project, they'll certainly finish their better efforts. Thanks for the post!

  2. Love this! Thanks for the encouragement.


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