The Sadness of THE END #amwriting

When you write, there’s a certain satisfaction and even relief to coming to the end of the story. But how do you know you’ve come to the end?

If what you’ve written is a rough or a first draft, you know you haven’t really come to the end end, just to the kinda sorta end. You still have to clean things up, snip things off, shim things up, polish the brass, and other metaphors of doing the finishing work.

THEN are you finished?

No, then you sit on it a while. Maybe then or later send it to Beta readers for their reactions, critiques, and/or suggested edits. Then you go over it again.

THEN are you finished?


Maybe not.

Let’s say you think so, and you submit the book/story/article somewhere and it’s accepted.

THEN are you finished?


Maybe not.

Sometimes your editor may want some changes, and you have to decide whether to make them or to advocate for not making them.

Sometimes you may wake in the night with an idea for a plot twist that would have made the story SO. MUCH. BETTER. Or if you could just add this paragraph, remove that somewhat dated reference, change that simile that seems forced and awkward now. Or ….

Some people never get around to submitting something, because they can never accept it as finished. Some people are never satisfied with anything they’ve written, however successful it may be, because they always see how they could have made it better.


I don’t have any. For most of us, it’s arbitrary, when a piece is finished. And our judgement on that may vary, from piece to piece and from one point in our development to another. The best we can do is make any given piece as good as we can make it. We can keep it forever and work it over and over until it’s so polished it has no features left, or we can send it out into the world and put what we’ve learned from that piece into writing another piece.

As my grandpa used to say, “You pays yer money and you takes yer choice.”

Kinda sad, innit?

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Write about someone who can let something or someone go.


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I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “The Sadness of THE END #amwriting

  1. Dan Antion

    February 6, 2017 at 10:37am

    All god things come to an end. When they don’t, they cease being good.

    • Joey

      February 6, 2017 at 10:45am

      I like what Dan wrote — not what his thumb typed, but what he meant. That’s good stuff. I wouldn’t know what it’s like to finish a book.

      • Author

        Marian Allen

        February 6, 2017 at 11:19am

        It’s happy/sad. It’s done/improvable. It’s start-another-one-or-this-one-won’t-let-you-go. 🙂

  2. Dan Antion

    February 6, 2017 at 10:57am

    @Joey – Believe it or not, I corrected the good/god typo the second time I made it. I felt so good when I saw that. Anyway, I glad you understood nd liked it 🙂

  3. A.C.Flory

    February 7, 2017 at 3:40am

    Bitter sweet. Apart from a bit of last minute patching, I stopped ‘writing’ in November last year. Since then it’s been editing, publishing and marketing. I wanted to start writing again over January but the well is still dry. I know the creativity will surge again after my brain has had enough fallow time but…I hate this in-between time. 🙁

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      February 7, 2017 at 11:57am

      I know, Meeka — I hate it when I don’t have at least one project underway. Happily, that doesn’t happen often! And, when it does, I just get together with #4 Daughter and we do writing exercises. 🙂

      • A.C.Flory

        February 7, 2017 at 5:28pm

        Innerscape took four years of [almost] daily writing/thought so I’m cutting myself some slack, but I still feel as if I should be writing. I envy you your effortless creativity. As for your daughter, you must be so proud of her.

        • Author

          Marian Allen

          February 7, 2017 at 6:26pm

          Effortless? HAHAHAHAHOHOHO! Oh, I can come up with notions and characters, but making it make sense? THAT’S brain-breaking work! And I am VERY proud of all my daughters, but #4 is the archeologist/writer, and I’m somewhat in awe of her awesome awesomeness.

          • A.C.Flory

            February 7, 2017 at 7:51pm

            lol – I am so glad! Was feeling horribly inadequate. And yes, making it make sense is the hard part. 🙂

  4. Jane

    February 7, 2017 at 7:21am

    Great advice for all us fellow writers.

    I hate those moments when one is reading through and suddenly go, “Us oh, why did he just do that?!”
    Sure takes all the joy out of thinking one’s done!

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      February 7, 2017 at 12:00pm

      I know! It made sense when I wrote it, and now I’m all, “What? What?” ~sigh~

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