Finish Fatigue

So I’m on the final page of my novel, just a few more lines to write.  So why can’t I write them?

Sure, I’ve lived with this story for the last few years and I am sure I will spend the better part of a year revising it.  I know it’s not over, but I can’t seem to finish it.

The finality of the first draft has me second guessing everything in the chapter.  My brain is already working on the next novel (taking a break from this draft before the next one).  Every morning I open up the Word doc, fiddle over some slight correction and then proceed to goof off, watch TV or play a video game, anything but write.

This fatigue coincides with the summer slowdown in the garden.  I spent hundreds of hours prepping the garden and getting it up and going only to half-way abandon it now that it doesn’t need constant attention.  I know I need to prune my tomato plants, harvest the cucumbers early to make pickles and cut back the blackberry canes before they grow over the roofline (too late).  I just don’t have the energy.  That’s not true.  I just don’t have the motivation.

Writing and gardening are not activities that we do when the mood strikes us.  It has to be a regular thing or else our stories dry up and our gardens are overrun with weeds.

When I get fatigued in either project it helps to do something, anything.  In writing, this blog gives me the extra push I need to keep on writing.  In gardening, I finish something, anything.  In this case, I made some blackberry jam.  It’s ridiculously easy to do.  Now I have finished writing something and I have enough jam for the winter I have a sense of accomplishment that urges me to do a little more.

Quitting is so easy to do, but so is finishing a small thing.  Hauling in a big harvest gives that sense of accomplishment that finishing a good story does.  And with that comes a different sort of fatigue.  It’s that kind of tired that precedes a long and satisfying sigh followed by a 12 hour nap.  Can’t we all use that kind of finish fatigue?

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4 thoughts on “Finish Fatigue

  1. I always go through this fatigue when I’m about to finish a novel. It’s just like I can’t let it go for some reason. Almost like I feel like it’s my kid going off to college. I want them to grow up, but at the same time I’m not ready so I sabotage my efforts to end it. Thanks for posting this, this is great.

    • Thanks Lauren,

      They say that beginning a novel is like starting a love affair, writing it is like crossing a desert and finishing it is like catching the flu.

      I’ve read some of your blog and find it inspiring for struggling writers. Think I’ll start following.

      AP Diggs

  2. I really enjoy the parallelism you have with the gardening and writing. It makes for some truly interesting reads. All the while being inspiring. I’m having a great time reading and following your journey. Cheers!

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