The Summer of Done

I have a problem with finishing things. The epic fantasy novel I began when I was ten has moved through seven states and two continents over three decades… and it’s still not complete.

In 2014, I took a huge leap. I finished a couple of short stories and submitted them for publication. Of course, the result was a whole mess of rejections, but that wasn’t the point. The point was that I’d finally finished a writing project. Each outgoing submission was an endpoint. Publication is a bonus, not the goal.

In the spring, high on this newfound feeling of doneness, I fell into a pattern of dashing out short stories and sending them off. And while each one was a victory over procrastination, some of them weren’t really, truly done. They deserved the rejections they received.

This summer, I’ve vowed to finish a chunk of work that has languished, undone. I won’t be submitting anything, anywhere for the entire summer–no matter how intriguing the project. I won’t be starting any new writing–no matter how compelling the idea. No flash fiction, no writing prompts, no “what ifs.” Two preselected novels and four short stories are the only items I can touch.

And so begins the Summer of Done. See you in September.


Author: TJ Berry

TJ Berry has been a political blogger, bakery owner, and spent a disastrous two weeks working in a razor blade factory. She now writes science fiction, fantasy, and horror from Seattle with considerably fewer on-the-job injuries. She’s on Twitter @TJaneBerry.

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