unfinished // why do we struggle to complete WIPs?

Hey y’all!

School has been happening for precisely a week now, and thank the Lord, I love my week so far. Everything has been worked out so well, and that may change when dual enrollment starts, but for now, it’s all lovely!

Last year was really rough school-wise, and I am just so relieved to know that it won’t be happening this year, too. That is pretty much the extent of my life update, so I’ll move into the thing you are actually reading this for. 😉

WIPs, or work(s) in progress, are a common thing in the life of a creator. You don’t have to be a writer to have a WIP. Good news folks! Everyone can suffer together! *wip suffering party*

It’s possibly the most annoying thing when a WIP stalls, for whatever reason. You feel like someone stopped the car too fast, allowing you to jolt forward in your seat, waiting for the horrid impact of a car crash. And sooner than you want or realize, your beautiful idea has passed through the metaphorical paper shredder, never to be seen again.

I’m not bitter. Sometimes the brain does things…. *shakes fist at brain*

But another all too common ordeal is when the well of brain juice is still there, but you, for some inexplicable reason, have no desire to continue. Or maybe you do! But the nasty plot goblins have come in the night and threw bricks at your outline that had new ideas tied to them. *shudders*

I don’t even know what metaphors these are. All I know is I’m tired, and also tired of the stupid old plot goblins. I love a new idea for a story like the next girl, but NOT WHILE I’M WORKING ON EIGHT OTHER ONES. GOODNESS GRACIOUS.

Can I get an amen? XD

So, why does this happen? Why must we be subjected to the disinterested nature of our own brains? Why do we suddenly lose interest with our earlier plot?

It’s an interesting thing to question, for honestly, we may never know the answer in full. It depends on the person as well. We are all different, and we abandon story ideas for different reasons. But I suggest that there are a few reasons.

01. You are busy.

This is an interesting one. The reason I say that is this; some people work better when they know exactly how much time they have between their juggling class and then the interview about weasels later that same day. Heaven knows it’s not much. And yet they still manage to get quality writing done. Good job, you guys. You’re inspiring. 😀

But then there are people, like myself, who the moment they get busy, kinda panics and sets everything else but the essentials aside. You have to buckle down to focus on the most important, most crucial things, and at that moment, that may not include writing.

The danger with that side of the idea becomes forgetting your ideas/losing the motivation or creative spark. My suggestion to both sides of these people is this: be careful where and how much time you put into the extra things in life. As good as it is to write, if you are a student, your main expectation right now is to keep up with schoolwork and learn things. Likewise with other things. I like to keep lots and lots of notes so that, in the eventuality of forgetting what has happened in the seven months since the last time you touched your WIP (Lord have mercy), you are able to know where you’ve left off and where you want to go.

02. You feel creatively drained.

Oof, this one is a constant over here in Madeleine-land*. It’s one of the worst things in the world to look forward to coming home after a normal day and write (or whatever you fancy), only to get home and open the doc to discover that every good idea has fled in terror of your coming. Yeahhhh not a great feeling.

So how does one counteract that feeling? Being perfectly honest, I don’t know how to do that. My only words of wisdom here for counteracting would be to go take care of your brain. A lot of times, the lack of creativity means you’re tired or stressed. It is better to move on with life and not press it to create, than to push it past the breaking point and suffer later.

Guard the edges of your creativity. Do you want to write later? Okay, don’t tire your mind out. Get enough sleep *laughs from a distance*, eat proper food, consume quality content for a creator such as yourself, and set the tone of the project in such a way that you don’t hate working on it.

03. You aren’t feeling it.

Hey.

Guess what.

I have a secret.

it is perfectly fine if you aren’t feeling what you are writing.

*G A S P*

Yup. It’s okay. It’s all technically your call anyway. Do you not like what you happen to be creating? GOOD! It’s natural! And, even better, it doesn’t change the fact that you are a wonderful and talented person!

Regarding my concern about a project I didn’t really feel like continuing, an sweet online friend once told me this.

That sounds like a real tough struggle. And I don’t have any answers for you. But I can relate. So know this, you are not alone in this. At the end of the day, God and a bunch of others love you. If you decide to let this project go, their love won’t change. and if you decide to go deep and edit it, their love still won’t change.

I have got to say, I cried like a baby reading that.

It’s honestly okay and good and h e a l t h y to let projects go. Believe me. 🙂 You can always come back to it down the road. So don’t let it hang over you any longer. Just close the tab or whatever you need to do, and start a new something! There are lots of somethings that haven’t been created and they are waiting for their chance!

So at the end of the day there’s another day dawning, you can always take a little break. WIPs are really hard to finish. As far as noveling goes, I have never actually completed one. I finished a full novella once, but that’s it, and don’t tell anyone but it is kinda crap. XD but I love it because it was the first thing I finished.

But that doesn’t mean WIPs are impossible to finish. All you need is a little nap, some good Tolkien, or a cup of coffee or your desired beverage, or a movie that inspires you. It doesn’t take much to reload the creative reserve.

And I promise you, one day you will stand and look at the big things you have accomplished and go, “how cool is it that I got to do that!”

❤ I’m rooting for all of you. ❤

Now go forth, mis amigos and amigas, and smile. Your day is just beginning. Make the best of it. Don’t procrastinate. Work hard. Make me proud. 🙂

Love you all,

Madeleine 

6 thoughts on “unfinished // why do we struggle to complete WIPs?

  1. I have experience with too many unfinished WIPs to count! It’s highly frustrating and depressing. I used to think that the reason why I couldn’t finish anything was because there was something wrong with me. Now I know better, but it’s still hard.
    I think part of my problem was that I didn’t know how to set realistic expectations/boundaries for myself. I’m learning how to do that now, and it’s been doing wonders for me! To know that I don’t need to finish it all at once, incredible! With my latest WIP, I’m giving myself 5 years to complete it. We’ll see how that goes, but I’m confident I can finish it in that time period with God’s help.
    Thank you for posting this! It’s very useful knowing the root reasons behind why WIPs fail. =)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly!! There is nothing wrong with us, but it does sure feel like it, huh. 🙂 Boundaries are hard for me to set for myself, too, so I understand the problems it can cause! I think there is such a pressure that comes with writing books and things nowadays, and it’s completely unfair to the authors. We are used to getting books in our hands almost instantaneously, and there are plenty of writers who are able to produce content by merely breathing! I, for one, am not one of those, so it’s not healthy to compare myself and push myself and beat myself up about not being as “fast” in writing as they are. 🙂 I’m proud of you for allowing yourself time to explore and write all that you can! God is such a big role in writing, and creating in general, and I’m glad you are taking time to meet Him in that!!
      I love posting things like this because we writers get to connect in the comments!! ❤

      Like

  2. Gosh. This post is full of truth bombs!!!!!
    Really, it was great. It’s really encouraging to hear that someone else struggles to finish WIPs too. I have this problem, like, every time I start a new WIP 😭😭😭
    But thanks for this post! It was so awesome! Also, sorry you’ve been having trouble with your WIPs too. That’s rough, I know. 😩 Praying for your books! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, my dear Penny!! That means a lot!! It’s part of being a writer, ain’t it? XD WIPs are difficult little things.
      I am starting to hit a stride, though, with my books that I am very happy to enter in to. 😀 The light is at the end of the tunnel, so to speak.
      Thank you for praying for my books! You are very sweet. ❤ I am praying for yours!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I know what you mean. If only it weren’t for juggling and weasels! Exactly my problem. Hang in there, Maddy. When it’s the right WIP, it’ll just flow.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s