Sometimes Starting is More Important than Finishing–Blowing the Dust off of the Work-in-Progress

Filed under: Chasing Adaptation, Drafting, Writing, Writing Style, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

Yesterday I FINALLY had my house relatively clean, a decent amount of laundry done, all three boys in school and the hubby back at work. There was no need to run because I had dance class in the evening and even the weather cooperated by being unseasonably cold and damp. It felt like a writing day. It also came to my attention that my fridge was empty and Panera would be a good place for lunch LOL! Without a doubt, all the stars were in alignment for me to pull out my newest work-in-progress called CHASING ADAPTATION.

Now, don’t get me wrong–I haven’t been neglecting this new manuscript. It has been in the research and mulling over phase while I did things like wash and put away snow pants and clean cat litter. I’ve been reading, making notes and participating in other forms of mental gymnastics. Lots of good things. But one of my writing resolutions this year is to move more quickly into the drafting phase after I’m finished with a project. (I say “finished” loosely, since we all know a novel is never done until it’s on the shelves.) Any-who, yesterday was the day to pull out the almost 6,000 words of CHASING ADAPTATION that I’d written during this year’s NaNoWriMo, otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month. And trust me, there was a lot of dust on that baby–I hadn’t read it since November.

Buried Computer

I am soooooo happy that I wrote those 6,000 words!!!  At the time I was disappointed that I couldn’t do more, but with the TOUCHING THE SURFACE book launch, Thanksgiving and a dance recital, almost 6,000 words was my best. This is a great reminder that sometimes it’s better to focus on starting than on finishing. Worry about finishing after you start LOL! It was so much easier to begin writing again, having a platform in place to jump off of. This experience has also cemented my desire to try NaNoWriMo again next year. I may not finish, but the writing I did do, turned out to be very helpful. Also, the NaNo draft  (to my surprise) ended up being a lot better than I remembered it. I fully anticipated having to trash a sizable chunk of what I’d thrown down on paper, but I don’t think I’m going to do that at this point. My original instincts may have been better than I thought they were. I believe I’m going to give this puppy a little room to grow and see what my subconscious mind has planned. Have I ever told you how much I enjoy the voices in my head? They are pretty cool company.

Anyway–for the record–I want to say something out loud. You know, before I get to that part in the manuscript where I suck and would rather cut my wrists open with a plastic butter knife than ever write again.


I’m so deliriously happy that I’m pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. Jumping into a new book right away feels brave and daring.

It also makes me feel good to know that I’m always growing and adapting. Recognizing my method while simultaneously learning to challenge myself.

Finding a new balance.

And I adore the potential and excitement that comes with a new idea.

The start of a book leaves me tingly as I filter my brain onto paper.


I can’t babble about this forever. I must finish writing this post so I can go back to Scrivener and write more words.

More words…

How long does it take you to start writing again after you finish a project? Can you juggle multiple projects? Are you able to “work” on a book in your head while you’re busy doing other things? What’s your view on starting and finishing? Does starting a book make you giddy?

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  1. I’m so glad you found the time to pick up this project again! And I can’t wait to read it one day. 🙂

    I try to keep more than one project going. That way, even when I can’t seem to find the spare minutes to get to keyboard, I can at least THINK about one book or another. Thinking about a WIP is part of writing, right? *grin*

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