I challenge you: just finish it

I know that most of the times I am just like a mathematician who loses interest in the problem once they find there is a solution.

I cannot focus my attention on a single thing.

In my head a new idea is always impeccable and I am surefooted and adequate to doing it. I imagine the end result, the  rapture, the joy, and… my interest evaporates.

  • Doable = No challenge.

  • No challenge = No interest = Not for me (I have a new idea!)

Same with reading. In the past four years there were just two periods when I have been reading just one book at a time: the Harry Potter and later the Hunger series. My other books in the queue are just equally interesting, so I alternate between all of them. 30 pages of this one, 20% of the other.  The books are now over 200 (two hundred). Yep. This is an issue.

  • Starting isn’t Useful Without Finishing

Starting interesting things is a worthwhile trait, but perhaps a more important one is finishing those things. The world is full of half-finished projects which could have been great if the fire-starter hadn’t burnt out a month or two in.

The courage to start things needs to be matched with the discipline to see them through. They’re both critical, and my guess is that you can probably assess which one you need to work on.


What is it with my finished projects?

The unexpected happens.

My sewing: I start with an idea (and a pattern) and end up with a completely different outcome. Get-go with a skirt pattern, end up with a dress. (too much imagination)
My blogging: You can bet that what you are reading now are not the perfect ideas, dressed in pluperfect words, dancing in excellent grammar lines that I had in my mind 30 minutes ago… (this is nothing like it)

And I do not like the unexpected. Nope, no surprises for my liking.


The first small step.

I made my decision to finish the 240 book lot before thinking about buying or borrowing new one.

Three days in the venture, I already have finished 3 books, and today will be the fourth and the fifth.

To You

So, as much as I challenge myself, I challenge you: just finish it.

Whether it is a book you read/write, a project, or a simple task, don’t always strive for perfection at any cost (paralysing you from doing a thing), reach for the end line. Finish. Then go back, polish, edit, revise, re-write, re-do, but first have it complete. You will clear you mind for the new ideas instead of rethinking the pending ones. “Truth will sooner come out from error than from confusion.” ~Francis Bacon

Just do it. Finish

(and then tell me how you did it, I still learn),

P.S. 11 hours later my finish-two-books-today mission is complete. How about your progress? I am eager to know (but also can wait). 🙂

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About JustEnglish.me

This blog is Zoe's way to spread the joy of finding and learning interesting bits about English. Join her and learn something new every time.

18 responses to “I challenge you: just finish it”

  1. Pat says :

    Good blog post. Best I have ever had and have ever given. Write it. Get it down. Don’t polish. Don’t stop. Write with the door closed and inner critic shut up.
    When it’s finished, polish it.
    Then open the door, allow in the critics, including the one in your head.
    But get it down first.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • JustEnglish.me says :

      Thank you for reading it and accepting the challenge (?) 🙂

      • Pat says :

        Challenge accepted.
        But then I am compulsive. Once started, has to be finished. Got to be done.
        ‘Course that doesn’t mean I’m not above trying to tweak as I write, but I do try just to let the words flow and not worry too much until the end.

  2. sharechair says :

    Great post! It took me three years to start a blog. My daughter-in-law really embarrassed me to get it going after a lot of false starts. Book reading is not a problem for me … I power through one book after the other. It’s things like housework that I can’t get started. The dust bunnies are producing babies of their own …..

    • JustEnglish.me says :

      Oh, thank you for your comment. Then, I think, we should combine powers – I tend to start so many things and not have the perseverance to follow through. 🙂 Want me to start sth for you…? 🙂 Just pulling your leg 🙂

  3. robincoyle says :

    My challenge for the next two weeks . . . finish editing my book while on vacation and send out query letters! Just Do It, Robin! Geez!

  4. The Muddy Kitchen says :

    Over the years I’ve had a ton of writers ask me for advice. Getting an agent. Writing query letter. Book editing help. Yet 100% don’t have a manuscript finished. Somewhere around 99% never get it finished as far as I know.

    My number one piece of advice to writers is FINISH THE BOOK! Sit until your ass is as wide as your chair. Keep at it until it’s done.

    Of course we – me included – have a billion ways we procrastinate (um…I’m blogging instead of tackling a pain-in-my-buttsky rewrite for instance) because finishing is hard as hell.

    My first novel started as a writing assignment in my first writing class at age 37 (11 years ago) – I kept working on it for 3 impossibly-hard years. It went on to become a bestseller. I was able to finish a few books after that.

    But it never gets easier. Finishing is committing. Committing puts your heart on the line. Thanks for the encouragement — I’m going to print, cut out, and tape right above my monitor!

    • JustEnglish.me says :

      Oh, what an encouraging comment! Thank you. And I do envy and admire your motivation and sacrifice through these years of writing (to the end), editing, re-writing, etc. There you’ve shown it: You can. Just keep walking (Johnie W.) 🙂 Kindest regards, Zoe

  5. Stefanie Neumann says :

    Cannot comment…. am. busy. fith, finishing. projects. … 😉

    Great post! – Much love to you, Zoe!

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