The struggle I have with my fiction writing is not finishing things. I think I’ve said this before. I have been working on two stories in particular for many years now. Yes, you read correctly: YEARS. They’ve morphed and changed and become nearly unrecognizable from their original state. And while that’s all okay, I’ve realized that I actually need to FINISH things in order to send them out for publication (not that my husband, bless him, or even my writer friends aren’t a perfectly good audience, but I’d really like more than ten people to read my work!). It was a peculiarly frustrating experience, not being able to finish my stories—I’m a very Type-A person who takes great pleasure in checking off things on my to-do list. But fiction writing, alas, isn’t as easy or linear as drafting an Excel spreadsheet of donor prospects or making five phone calls to clients.
So I was supremely grateful and pleased the other day when I finally felt a sense of completion on one of my stories. I won’t say which one it is since I am going to be sending it in as my entry for the Hyphen/AAWW short story contest, the deadline for which was extended to April 12.
I feel like I’ve really made progress, and I now have hope that not only is this particular story going to be read by the fabulous contest judges and other cool folks at Hyphen, but that I can and will finish other stories too. And it’s these small but significant accomplishments that make me feel like I’m moving forward, improving my work and becoming a better writer.