Magician. Speaker. Writer. Friend.
December 17, 2017 11:03 pm

How to Finish Well: 3 Things You Can Do


I, like most people, don’t have a problem with starting a new project. I do, however, have a problem with finishing. Have you ever started a project and then scrapped it half way through? I know I have. Have you ever been afraid you won’t be able to finish what you’ve started? Me too. Many times, in the middle of a project, I’ve crashed into a wall. A wall which steals all my energy, my ambition, and my determination. A wall that breaks me. I know this feeling well and I know I’m not alone. Many of you know what it’s like to get all excited and start something new, but end up scrapping it. Heck, I even have a whole chapter written about a group of Christian vampire hunters. I scrapped it. Here are three things you can do to not only finish but finish well.

1. Remember why you started in the first place.

When you are in the middle of something it’s easy to forget why you’re doing it. When your purpose becomes unclear, take a second to remind yourself. I’ve got to do this on an almost daily basis concerning school work and writing. I have to remind myself the reason I am in law school. I have to remind myself the reason I am writing a book. Remembering why you started keeps the goal in sight. It allows you to see the finish line. You can’t run a race that has no end. Know the end and remember it.

2. Ask yourself, “Is this a season or a lifestyle.”

My favorite teacher, Alyn Jones, taught me to ask myself this question when life starts to suck. “Is this a season or a lifestyle?” The answer to that question will dictate your response. If what you are experiencing is a lifestyle then you need to change something. If it’s a season then you need to wait it out and persevere. For instance, law school is demanding. It’s hard. But no matter how hard it may become, I know it’s only for a season. That gives me hope.

When writing my book, I feel many of the same emotions. Writing is hard. But for me writing is not a season. It’s a lifestyle choice. Therefore, there is no waiting it out. When I feel like writing is too hard; I need to change something or stop writing. The latter is not an option I give myself. Persevere through seasons; change lifestyles. Maybe this is the reason the Psalmist wrote:

“Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)

3. Know the difference between mistakes and failures.

Too many times I’ve quit a project because I made a mistake. I might have even finished most of the project but once a mistake was made I threw in the towel. I was confusing making a mistake and failing. Just because you make a mistake doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Can you imagine watching a play where an actor makes a mistake and then the director comes out yelling “Cut, the play’s over. Everybody go home.” That sounds absurd, yet we do that to ourselves all the time. Give yourself the freedom to make mistakes or as Bob Ross would call them, “happy accidents.” 


What are you doing? Why did you start? Is the difficulty you’re facing the result of a season or a lifestyle? Is there a time you mistook a mistake for failure? You can share your answers by commenting below.

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