I’ve finished the rewrite of my script.
And I’ve learned so much about endings as I’ve approached this one. It’s a different scenario from the usual drill of having a forced, external deadline. This one has been entirely internally motivated. There’s no due date, there’s no have-to.
Look at the pony show
And the fancy tricks I started to pull at the end were very creative. Hilarious, in point of fact.
As soon as I could “see” the end — when I had it in my sights and knew it was only a matter of about 10 to 15 pages to get there, my insides got all squirrely. I decided I wanted to finish it right then, even if it took me the rest of the day.
When reality struck and I realized I had other work that had to come first (I am running a business here), I found myself wanting to postpone working on it again until I had a Long Block of Time to write (the precise opposite of what I recommend). What a joke! I got myself back onto my regular, moderate, well-paced schedule of 30 minutes a day pretty quickly once I caught on to the dog-and-pony show my inner critic was putting on.
I also found that my inner critic fired up a whole new level of criticism — she’s been pulling out all the stops, laying it on fast and thick, “It’s not as good as the last draft. You’ve wasted your time, it’s still no better. This still isn’t marketable.”
Good thing I know better than to listen to all that.
Creative expression is deeply vulnerable
Here’s what I also know to be true — part of me IS scared, and that’s okay. I just can’t — and won’t — let it stop me. I only need to acknowledge it and move on. It’s a big deal, after all, bringing something into being. It’s bound to stir up fear and vulnerability.
Shame researcher Brené Brown says that there’s nothing more vulnerable than creating something that has never existed before.
I’ve also heard it described as being like taking down your pants, in public, very… very… slowly.
It’s no wonder so many of us hesitate when it comes to completing our work.
It’s all about the fear — and the old wounds
So many of us have been so wounded around our creative expression, it’s no wonder we hold back when it comes to “shipping.”
Shipping, in case you’re wondering, means completing and delivering our work, whether it’s a website, book, ebook, script, painting, or widget.
I can’t tell you how many people I see never shipping their work, full of excuses, not realizing it’s really fear that’s stopping them. (If you want help keeping your fear and doubt from stopping you, my new mentoring programs will help. More on that next week.)
It happens with so many different kinds of projects — getting almost to the completion point and then deciding we’re “stuck” or “bored.” Websites that never go live. Ebooks that never get published. Scripts that languish in endless revisions.
It’s all just smoke and mirrors
Stuck is a smokescreen for fear.
Bored is a smokescreen for fear.
The fact is, we are terrified. Getting to the end of a project stirs up all our issues around being seen, heard, scrutinized, read, listened to, failing, succeeding.
But in the end, isn’t it better to try?
Brené Brown brought this quote from Theodore Roosevelt to my attention, “It is not the critic who counts. It is not the man who sits and points out how the doer of deeds could have done things better and how he falls and stumbles. The credit goes to the man in the arena whose face is marred with dust and blood and sweat. But when he’s in the arena, at best he wins, and at worst he loses, but when he fails, when he loses, he does so daring greatly.”
I’d much rather try and “fail” then never to try at all.
I’d love to hear from you. What’s your experience with completion? Do you keep going until the end? Waffle? Run out of steam? Get bored? Are you daring greatly? Dipping in a toe or diving in? Does the fear of failing stop you?
~> March 8th at 11 a.m. Pacific — Mark your calendar! If you enjoyed my Creative Productivity TeleClass Series and you’re wondering about the next steps to put what you learned into practice, you’ll want to join me for this free information call next week. I’ll walk you through identifying your next steps and fill you in about details about how I can support you along the way through my 1:1 mentoring programs. More information on its way soon! Watch your inbox for details about how to sign up.
~> March 21st: Register for the next Writer’s Circle session. Register by March 21st for the next session of my Writer’s Circle (starts March 25th). Build a solid habit of daily writing and finish all your writing projects: http://JustDoTheWriting.com. We’re running four groups of fantastic writers right now and it’s a ton of fun. Come join us!
~> Daily. Working on rewriting my script, Progeny, with my mentor Chris Soth after finishing the ProSeries. Just about done!
~> Reading How to Speak Dragonese with my son. Finished ScriptShadow Secrets* by Carson Reeves — a great one!
Thanks for reading.