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Well, here we are.  Another year behind us.  Another NaNoWriMo in the history books.  We’ve all had some times these past three hundred and sixty-five days.  We’ve lost some people, some things, some beliefs, some ideas.

Firstly, I hope everyone got through things relatively unscathed, and if you didn’t…Let’s just say, good thoughts and wishes to you.

I do want to use the last couple of years to illustrate my point this new year.  We got through it.  We made it to the end.  We finished.

There is an underrated significance in finishing in the writing community, I feel.  There is no trainer pushing us to write every day as in sports.  There is no cheering crowd to push us along the path, handing out encouragement and drinks as we reach the halfway point.  There isn’t even a finishing line to cross when we complete a novel, though there is a finishing line.  If we’re lucky we have that special someone in our lives that congratulates us when we’re done, and if we don’t, well, there’s even less fanfare.

And even then, the process of writing isn’t “finished”, what with the editing and re-writing, and the trying to get published, and then the editing and re-writing.  Of course, there’s the strategy of having more than one project going at a time, which can make it difficult to focus on one, or feel like you’re done with anything, hard.

But there is a significance in finishing.  In knowing that you’ve come to an end.  I want you to know that that half-finished novel, the barely started short story, that “completed” one hundred and fifty pages of NaNoWriMo, I want you to finish it.  I want to know how it ends.  I’m cheering you on.

Ours is a solitary job, calling, journey, and ending, so I’ve found it’s fun to have a ritual for the ending of a story.  Like James Cann’s character in the movie version of Misery, who has a cigarette at the end of a novel.  Sometimes I’ll buy myself a book, sometimes a new pen or notebook, most of the time I just have a soda and sit in silence for however long it takes me to drink it.  It doesn’t have to be a big thing.  I would balk to even call it a celebration.  What I would call it is an acknowledgement of being done, of finishing.

All things, good, bad, indifferent, come to an end.  Shouldn’t your stories be one of them?

Until next time: Write yourself, write well.  Be yourself, be well.