Finish What You Start: A Primer & Battlecry

“Finish one thing before going on to the next,” we often hear. “Put away the first toy before you take out another activity.” Simple, right? This is how we train children so they do not become the manic, high-wire creatives we are who cannot focus on a shoe long enough to get it tied.

We teach our young ones to manage their brains as they manage a room or a shelf. We were all taught this, mostly. And yet, look at how many tabs or files you have open on this computer or phone. The world has shifted to become the place where you manage pulls and tugs from 6,000 directions, “notifications” if you will.

I have new ideas, new projects, and ventures, (Learn to make pasta! Interview every Michelin chef in Tokyo!) but I cannot seem to clean up the first toys. As a (novice) writer managing children, household, and ideas, I still have loads in Grammarly, loads in Word and now Pages files that I cannot move. They have to sell, but they’ve sat for so long! They are projects with what can feel like inordinate amounts of steps.

If my essays and pitches were muffins, they’d be scientific gateways to finding new drugs and cures. They’d have mold. They’d have died in a dumpster years ago.


So. New move: I make the new dough. I form recipes and pour them into tins. I bake. I use what is available now to me in this season of spring–AND, because I am still the manic, night-owl creative, I will take the seed, the beautiful thing that was my starter and I will move those pitches, the interviews, the book reviews that I did not know how to handle or sell and I will, L-rd willing, see me develop what I need: the perseverance of a three-year-old. I will do it! Maybe we simply need the positive pressure of new things to finish up the good starts from before. Or maybe some things just happen simultaneously.



Welcome to the locker room of a thirty-nine-year-old writer and mama perpetually hungry and currently on crutches, mostly nursing my sprained ankle in bed. I hope it’s been fun. Say, can I get some more coffee?





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