It was not easy for James Joyce…with failing eyesight and a daughter with major mental problems…to finish FINNEGANS WAKE. It had been an impossible task to begin with. But he never gave up, and without much encouragement at that. Then it hadn’t been easy for many other creative geniuses with similar problems: take for instance Beethoven and what he accomplished after he lost his hearing.
Then there are the rest of us. This has nothing to do with our trying to accomplish an impossible task. It has everything to do with sticking with something which, because we were dissatisfied with the results or having listened to criticism, we set it aside for a while; and, after a little while longer, we had to admit we weren’t going to pick it up again. The project had excited us once. We had started it with a great amount of enthusiasm and spent many hours on it in front of a computer. The story took form; it had a beginning, middle, an end; we had every intention of finishing it; then something happened. It could be as vague as that. And it would not have been all that hard for us to start again…even after losing momentum…but the story remained unfinished, destined for the closet. This scenario has been all too common. But it didn’t need to turn out that way. Only a change here and there, getting back to the routine, was all that would’ve been needed; sitting down, finding the manuscript, reading what’s there, and changing a sentence or two. Then we would have no trouble getting back on track and, yes, finishing it. Oh, yes, it ‘s often the simplest things that make a difference.
So I should be able to pick up and start over all my old unfinished projects. My biggest hurdle is procrastination and fear, yes, all kinds of fear. Okay, so I need to be fearless and not care so much. You’ve heard this from me before.