Beware Of “Irons In The Fire” Syndrome
My writerbrain is fully engaged right now as I finish edits on “Traveler,” and in addition to that, I’m blogging on a few different platforms and I have a two other projects going. I’m used to multi-tasking, but things have to stay orderly.
For years, I had what I like to call “Irons in the fire” syndrome, where I had three half-complete potentially really terrific books that I might hypothetically get published in the future, whenever I decided to finish them. Which was pretty much never. Three half-finished novels became six, and seven, and ooooh, boy were they going to be great.
Whenever I finished them, that is.
Then something fun happened – through a quirk of fate, I ended up with a free session with a life coach. We spent the whole day together, and a lot of what she had to say was just plain common sense. Some of it was stuff I knew I wouldn’t do (like going on her personal and expensive yoga retreats), but I did get one takeaway from the session:
Finish a book.
She told me that if I wanted to be a writer, I needed to have something to show for it. I’m like a football player who practices all the time and may be one of the best, but I never went out for the team.
So I picked up a novel, and I wrote until it was done, then I edited until it was better, and then I gave it to beta readers and re-edited until it was done. I repeated that a few more times, and with each incarnation, I got better.
Writing “The End” for the first time was such a victory, and it still is, every single time. And it makes you hungry to start anew and get to it again.
Get those irons out of the fire and forge a sword to brandish on a mountaintop, already.
In the end, the writing is the most important thing–and that includes editing. Not promoting, not networking. I’ve got eight novels I’m finishing (with betas). It may work out very well. I’ll have enough to make a real go at self-publishing. So maybe something similar will happen to you. 🙂