Who’s Afraid of The End?

AfraidOfTheEndI AM.

I think that has to be the reason I haven’t finished the first draft of my latest novel. I have tried and tried to finish it over the last few weeks and I seem to find any excuse possible not to. Even this blog update is a form of procrastination.

Do you know what the worst part is? I know exactly how I want the end to work out, I have the basic outline so the writing can take me there but I can seem to bring myself to write it. I really like the novel itself, I think it has great potential……

Maybe I am afraid after all this work it will be horrible? Maybe I am afraid it won’t live up to my expectations? Maybe I am afraid that it won’t be worth editing? I don’t think I believe any of this but I seem to be sabotaging myself subconsciously….

Is anyone else afraid of the end?

What helps you break through the final wall?


29 thoughts on “Who’s Afraid of The End?

  1. Or perhaps you just don’t want it to end. Some writers can’t bring themselves to do the ending for that reason. Me, I can’t wait to get to the end of my rough draft so I can start revising.

  2. I have planned what I’m going to do at the end but I couldn’t seem to have the courage to end it. OFFICIALLY. I don’t know if I’m scared it’s not good enough or not.

  3. It sounds like you are enjoying the writing of the novel so much, you don’t want it to end! I just pushed myself to finish my first novel. Wasn’t happy with the ending, but during editing, it became obvious to me what I had to do to improve it. Anyway, writing ‘The End’ is only the beginning … Good luck with it.

  4. Or maybe you’re afraid of success…read my latest blog post for further info about what I’m talking about. That’s not an order, just an invitation! 🙂

  5. I can sympathise, I have hardly touched my Camp NaNoWriMo effort since the end of April, even though it’s only a few thousand away from being complete.

    On Monday, I’m just going to sit down and force through it. No more excuses, no more “I’m just taking a break”. Sometimes you have to just soldier on rather than waiting for the inspiration or right mood to come to you.

  6. I always want things to end..gives me a satisfaction as if, I completed my work..got it done..submitted my thoughts..and I can relax..till I want to do something else..

  7. When all else fails, I have to get angry enough to tell myself to “finish the damn thing and let it go already” . . . and MEAN it! 😉

  8. Recently went through the same thing. I’m not sure if I was afraid of moving on and starting something else or if writing those last few chapters would have just been in vain because there was no way the rest could be salvaged. But I think what it really came down to was my fear of failure and more specifically the anticipation of that failure. So how do you remove that anticipation? You force yourself to fail by never finishing.

  9. Yikes… I’m in exactly the same position. My first draft probably should have been finished two weeks ago. Yet I’m still at least a week away. Next week, I’m just going to focus 100% on it… no excuses! Good luck to you too!

  10. OK, so I might not admit it, but I am so fearful of “the end” that I have two master’s degrees all-but-thesis and I’m a writer. If I finish, then I’m done, not a student anymore… I’m thinking of sending my prof the 50+ pages of work I have and begging him to just cut the fat and let me move on. Maybe now I will get to work, too!!! Thanks for saying it out loud.

  11. Work through it, then work on it.
    Never feeling satisfied with your writing is the only way to improve with it (in my opinion).
    You can never improve if you won’t let yourself work.
    Push through it and prevail.
    And if you’re concerned about the story being over? It won’t ever be.

  12. I feel you. I’ve experienced something similar, though my past writing projects have been smaller in nature (short fiction and novellas, typically). I’m always sad to see it end, but I try to remember that there’s no way for me to grow, to move on to bigger and better things if I can’t finish what I started.

    That, and I usually give it a little “good-bye party”.

  13. I can completely relate to your situation! I’m at a 112,000 words now with my first novel, and I’m trying to wrap it up. I know how I want to end this story, but as long as I haven’t ended it yet, I’m keeping at bay the revision process whereby I will have to take a look at what I’ve written. It won’t be easy as I’m very self-critical about my writing. I’m going to have to sit myself down at the computer and just do it though……..one of these days 😉

  14. Like raising children, at some point the work has to enter a new phase. We know the goal; send the story/children out into the world and see if they can stand on their own, but it is hard. Good luck with the novel.

  15. Firstly, procrastination is a great word and we writers are all guilty of it at some point (many refer to it as writer’s block). I ritually look for chores before beating myself up and sitting to write, and, like you, this blogging is yet another way for me to procrastinate. At least this is healthy as it is a form of writing. I just finished writing my first novel and am currently proof reading it, editting as I go. I know I am not happy with it and that there will be changes but I needed to put some sort of end to it so that I could move on to the next part (proof reading and editting, writing to agents, starting book two etc). I find the next thought helpful when considering an end (especially when emotions are involved): It is not the end, only a new beginning, the next stage of the journey, like death not being the end but the beginning of our soul’s adventure. I am sure you will find a suitable ‘ending’ and relish in a new beginning. Keep smiling and keep writing, kind regards, Baldy 🙂

  16. Who isn’t afraid of the end? (I’m sure a select few aren’t- I consider them lucky!) I think safia has a great point however. Push yourself to the end even if you’re not happy with it- by the time you get around to editing, you’ll have taken a break and a step away- and you’ll probably see how you can write how you want it. Give yourself enough space from the work so that you feel you’re editing someone else’s work.

  17. I think every writer has their own process – although for me, if I can’t get to the end it usually means:
    1. What I think is the ending really isn’t. I discover my hero has at least one more dragon to slay or damsel to rescue.
    2. I am dreading the editing process.
    3. I am out of ideas for the next project
    4. I’m so in love with my characters I don’t want to end my relationship with them.

    In any case – sometimes putting the project away for a couple of weeks and working on something else will unstick the flow. When you go back to the project with fresh eyes, often what you couldn’t see is staring you right in the face.

    Good luck with it.


  18. I think I’m more apprehensive of what comes after the end…beginning something else. When that happens all of a sudden everything is new and slightly uncomfortable again. So I resist and hold on to the old familiar as long as possible. It’s just the path of least resistance. At least, that’s my working theory 🙂 Great question.

  19. I just went to a writers lecture with teacher and publisher Janet Harris of Brown Books Publishing group. One tip I loved…avoid using the word IT. She has a little blurb on YouTube. Very helpful. I’m going to watch IT from now on. Good luck on you book!

  20. I was 16 the first time I refused to read a book’s ending (I still haven’t read it…). now that I know I’m about to close my blog, I can’t write the last poems 🙂 “Time is running”, it’s probably my problem. But i also know i can run fast, so… Good luck!

  21. I was thrilled when I ended my first book because I had so many other ideas swirling in my head that I wanted to begin. Maybe you should consider your next projects and that might be motivating.

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