I loved reading Gretchen Rubin’s book, “Better Than Before”. Throughout the book she suggests that through knowing yourself better, you can manipulate yourself better. Something I have found to be a powerful tool in self improvement. In particular Rubin loves to divide people up into two groups. The aspect I want to discuss today is the difference between starters and finishers.
Starters love taking the first scoop in a tub of peanut butter, and cracking the seal on a fresh tube of toothpaste or chapstick. Finishers, by contrast, scrape clean a peanut butter jar, push out the last of the chapstick, or squeeze out the last toothbrush full of paste from the tube.
I am a hard core starter. I think I am in the majority here.
The benifit of my type is that ideas flow fast and easy. I live in a perpetual brainstorm. The downfall, is that at the end of the day I have very little to show for my innovation.
I have been thinking about this a lot as I come up on the end of my first draft. This is a huge milestone and one I want to achieve very badly. However, I can feel myself leaning away from the very hard work of getting my draft to “finished”. I feel drawn to brainstorming new stories, new projects, and innumerable other distractions that will keep me from writing the faitful words: The End.
My solution? For now it is to dangle the carrot of starting just beyond the finish line. I will reward my starter brain with a feast of brainstorming only after I get though the first draft I’ve been chipping away at for years. I am also trying to keep in mind that finishing a first draft is nothing whatsoever like actually finishing a novel and that is both reassuring and depressing enough to make the goal seem achievable.
I am hoping that this is enough to trick my starter brain into actually finishing something for once. Fingers crossed.