Embrace the Tangent 2

I had some more thoughts on my Embrace the Tangent post. This idea of starting a bunch of things but never finishing anything isn't a great way to live, let's be honest. Sometimes we have days like that, and the post was about giving yourself grace in that. But in the long run, it's obviously not going to lead to a productive life. A little focus is crucial, as well as a healthy does of planning (which I am inherently adverse to). This idea applies especially to creative pursuits, which is counter to just about everything creative people are inclined towards.

Finishing things is difficult, right? I'd love to know the number of novels that are started every year, compared the number that are completed. Thankfully, this was a lesson I learned pretty early on in my writing "career." I would start a screenplay, outlining and maybe even writing some pages; but then get excited about a new idea and start that, fully intending to just jot some ideas down and then go back to the first one. Well, what do you think happens? In the midst of idea #2, you get a third idea and start that one. One thing leads to another and now you have about fifteen ideas started...and nothing finished.

I'm guilty of it, but when I started seeing it in my friends who were writing too, I wisened up a little. I started finishing what I started, no matter what was going on or how stuck I became. Sometimes this lead to breaking through brick wall writers blocks, way too many pages of useless material and even some invested time into an idea that maybe wasn't my best. But as I tell my kids, "Bickerstaffs are finishers," and I intended to fulfill that ideal (and still do).

Writing this blog is really just a reminder that sometimes life throws you random obstacles that you need to roll with, but other times a diligent decision needs to be made and stuck to -- dodge the obstacle or outright block it. Setting priorities should help determine what action should be chosen in each scenario. But again, give yourself grace when you fail.