Last week, I started something new on the Writer's Loom Facebook page: Brown Bag Lunches for Writers. These are short, practically oriented weekly chats about topics of interest to writers.
I kicked things off with a question I find important for writers to discern about themselves: are you a "starter" or a "finisher"? Do you gravitate toward beginning writing projects or concluding them? (See video below.)
Before I explain this in greater detail, let's back up. All writing projects--regardless of how long or intensive--consist of three overall phases:
There are no black-and-white lines between these phases--and sometimes we may find ourselves oscillating between various levels of nested beginnings and endings. We may be writing the introductory paragraph (a kind of beginning) of our conclusion (a kind of ending). For most writer, the middle place are the hardest ones to be in--we'll leave that aside for now and tackle in another post.
Most writers find they tend to be stronger at either beginnings or endings. This doesn't mean that one or the other comes EASILY or EFFORTLESSLY--simply that one or the other comes more naturally and seems less daunting. If you're not sure which is your tendency, here are some helpful diagnostic questions:
The reason it's important to get a sense of our strengths and preferences on this question is so that we can better meet our selves where we're at and employ specific strategies to further our writing.
If you're a starter, here are some strategies to try next time you're stuck in the midst of "Ending Ennui":
Here are some inverse strategies for the finishers who may find themselves sinking in the "Starting Swamp":
Hopefully these strategies help you work with your starter or finisher nature rather than against it.
If you're a writer, consider liking and following my page on Facebook, where you'll be informed of my weekly Facebook Live sessions--"Brown Bag Lunches for Writers"--as well as giveaways and lots of other helpful thoughts for writers.
Writer's Loom Blog
In praise of tight writing in a world of loose ends.