A lot of people struggle with writing. Or, more precisely- finishing.

There are a plethora of understandable reasons, but I’m going to incorporate a little tough love here and say the majority of us wordsmiths have Goldilocks syndrome.

And I’m not completely immune to the disease myself. We’re waiting for everything to be “just right.”  Just enough action, romance, history, character development, plot twists, horror, perfection…whatever it is you’re trying to impart.

If you’ve been writing a book for over seven years and it’s not completed- stop it. Stop it right now. You, fellow scribe, need to take a hiatus and finish something else…anything.

There needs to be a limit. We don’t like to hear that. We say to ourselves: “But, who can put a time frame on art?” “It’s not quite there yet.” “So close.”


It’s either being over-worked or the story wasn’t really in you…not fully. Yes, that sounds terrible, but tough love isn’t pretty.

Do you know that of the 30 most famous books (by sales), only 3 of them took over seven years to write? (They tried to count Lord of the Rings, but that’s a trilogy that took 16 years and shouldn’t count as one book). Look for yourself:

I warn you that a couple of those will be hugely depressing.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?- 6 days.

Wuthering Heights?- 9 months

To Kill a Mockingbird (the book of the century)? 2.5 years.

The most depressing stat was The Boy in the Striped Pajamas…2.5 days. I’m crying.

I digress, this is not meant to bring one to tears, but instead to ponder other options and possibly reevaluate. (And, yes- I work full time).

And I know you may huff at my words and return to your WIP with a renewed determination, wading through year 10 or 11 of the same project.

We writers are nothing, if not a stubborn lot.

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” -Socrates

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