Mar 282014

I was really enjoying this documentary on the Algonquin Round table. Check it out if you have the time; it’s about 26 minutes. A youngish Walter Cronkite narrated.


Quite a group of writers and others met regularly as part of this group. Guests included Dorothy Parker, Alexander Woollcott, Heywood Broun, Robert Benchley, Robert Sherwood, George S. Kaufman, Franklin P. Adams, Marc Connelly, Harold Ross, Harpo Marx, and Russell Crouse.

From what I get, it’s part mastermind group and part Friars Club roast.



Mar 052014
Let 'em finish already!

Let ’em finish already!

There’s a road sign I often see in South Carolina. It’s posted wherever there’s a road project, and it admonishes drivers to watch their air speed. I guess law enforcement takes this stuff seriously:


Because I’m so easily amused I usually read that out loud when I pass one of those signs.

However, as proof positive that I’m so easily amused, I’ll add my own punchline:


That’s because road crews — or more correctly the political entities that control them — are not always that good about completing a project.

Of course I know absolutely nothing about that. Of course I always finish what I start. Of course I’m lying like an old hound dog in the sun.

I’ve already written about my multiple uncompleted projects. Their name is legion for there are many. But talking to other creative types — especially those with more than one talent — should make me feel better. At least I’m not the worst kiddy in this schoolhouse.

But this finishing stuff. That’s so cool. A rush. Even better than having another brilliant idea. But getting to that completion point is just too much like work.


Jessica Baverstock wrote about this idea-versus-completion notion in Write To Done. There’s a real high attached to having a great idea. It’s that inspiration, kind of like being one of The Chosen. It’s that shiny object, and you know about those.


As I write this post I’m winding down my large fiction project. Now I’m down to fixing some formatting that got lost when transferring files (plus I’m checking for continuity), but I’m close. Really close. I should have this fixing done tonight (Tuesday) so I can upload the whole mess into Smashwords and Createspace tomorrow.

It’s soup yet.


You’d think my overly critical, analytical and verbose brain would get the hint by now. It’s lost this battle, so it might as well stand down.

But it won’t.

It’s that Resistance thing again. My most effective personal form of resistance is that yakking brain telling me that my immensely stupid idea will never work. the whole concept blows and my execution makes a bad thing worse. Why don’t I shuck the whole thing and go fishing instead?

This happens even at this late stage. Especially at this late stage.


I’m particularly susceptible to this idea addiction. I know, talking about my predispositions can be a dandy excuse for screwing off, but bear with me here. According to Clifton’s StrengthsFinder, my five core strengths are:

  • Strategic: Long on thinking, especially in developing an idea. Short on actually finishing something.
  • Learner and Input: Separate strengths, but similar results. Great for research and storing information, short on actually finishing something.
  • Ideation: Lots of ideas. Unfortunately, finishing something is not one of them.
  • Self-assurance: This is the only thing that saves my butt here. It means I’m stubborn and always right. But I have to complete something to prove it.


Baverstock suggests trading one addiction for another; in this case completion for ideas. Which makes sense, kinda sorta.

Here’s the thing, though. She outlines eight steps to make this swap, but there’s nothing particularly original or useful in the first six. Number seven, though, gets pretty good:

Breathe in the jubilant high of completion. In other words, LET ‘EM FINISH

But see, none of this means jack until I actually complete something.

Something like a 600-word blog post. That’s a gateway drug.

If I can carry that completion high over to the next project I might even finish that one too.

The progression continues as long as I let it. Maybe at some point I get to where I’m finishing 125,000-word novels. Hey, stranger things have happened.




Talk to me: Do you find this completion idea true? Any experiences to bear this out? Please share.