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A Writer’s Guide to Finishing What You’ve

In this article, I offer a solution to the endless drafts and notes that overwhelm and paralyze

Some of them are never meant to be finished — intimate scraps of emotion, no longer relevant thoughts,

But there are other pieces, such as promising starting paragraphs, snippets and comments from fascinating research, and

As long as they are ignored, they burden the conscience and cloud the mind

Often we have a lot on our plate, or our creative juices run dry, or we fear

We fail to achieve the desired result in a chapter/article/poem, and we switch

If this becomes a habit, the result is deplorable: lots of ambition, little accomplishment

A finished text, no matter how imperfect, is better than an aspiring beginning without a progression and

In a way, we tell ourselves and the world that we have overcome another milestone

But when we start and quit, or try to improve to perfection and never finish, we avoid

By switching fast or staying on the same task for too long (for weeks or months), we

In this article, I offer a solution to the endless drafts and notes that overwhelm and paralyze

You’ll need to up your sleeves and allocate all your notes in one, at most, two

At one time I had my notes in Google Keep, Evernote, Scrivener, Apple Notes, and Notion, along

Multiple note-keeping places created a mess not only in my devices but in my head

In my quest for the optimal software that would magically make me more productive, I ended up

I know each program has its advantages, but if you try to use them all, you’ll

Preferably, use no more than two programs, one of which is cloud-based

You can tag your files according to their subject, genre, or purpose — you know what works best

You must be able to quickly find and work on the material you need

Clear the space for creativity and organize your files so that everything is crystal clear

*If you use specialized software, such as Scrivener or Ulysses, rather than word processors, the folders may

Within them, you can categorize files by priority, putting the ones you want to complete first at

While you’re sorting through your files, get rid of those that are no longer relevant and

Sometimes you have to let go of old creations to make room for new ones

Organizing your files will most likely relieve you of stress and bring clarity

These processes — systematization and cleaning — can take weeks

But it’s worth it: if done thoroughly, you’ll boost your productivity in the long run

When you’ve organized your files and your thoughts — what you write today, this week, this month —

You might say, “But what if inspiration strikes?!” Great! Create a file in the SOMEDAY folder, or

If what you’ve written is really cool and you want it to come to life, finish

Additionally, I suggest another rule that has been key for me: files in the NOW folder only

Here, perfectionism and laziness enter the fray, but I, to the best of my knowledge, complete working

You may say that sometimes it’s better to put the work aside and come back to

But since I have several dozen such “back in a month” files piled up, I no longer

And I’m tired of feeling inadequate: others are writing and publishing while I’m sitting in

To me, “done” implies final drafts, so the work may be published or shown to editors, but

** The same holds true if you write fiction with a complicated plot line: readers should be able