• Tyler E. C. Burnworth

Finish Your Sh*t

When a star falls from the sky at over 20,000 miles per hour and slams into your brainpan, your eyes light up.

What's that sound? Is that my cerebrum simmering? I smell cervelle de veau!

Ding. You've got an idea!

You feverishly attack your keyboard like your life depends on it. Your synapses spark with creativity. The floodgates aren't open; THEY'RE BLOWN OFF THE DAMN HINGES, lost in a deluge of inspiration.

And then, it stops. The fire goes out.

The river runs dry. You are a crisped husk. A cicada carapace clipped onto the bark of a Writer's Block Tree (an exotic import from the no man's land called Procrastinea).


Writer's Block never killed anyone.

It is not as scary as it may seem, although the dangers are real to your writer's journey.

Take the world's largest cathedral, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

This architectural marvel was started in New York in the year 1892...and has never been finished.

Sure, there are reasons. Lack of funding, changes made during the construction process, engineering flaws. These are real problems that explain it's half-finished, stagnate state at present.

This is your book, your craft, YOUR LIFE.

Don't let it be St. John the Unfinished.

Finish it. Finish it. FINISH IT!

I know this anxiety first-hand. I rewrote my latest WIP (work in progress for non-writer folk) start-to-finish 3 times. I've done over 7 intensive editing passes, 2 with beta readers. I recieved dozens of form rejection letters, one with editorial feedback on the opening pages that let me know how terrible it was.

I was at my wit's end. I felt like the work I put into this book had the same effect on me as breaking my teeth against a brick wall. The answer came in an R&R letter from a publisher.

I was so focused on having a completed, edited manuscript that I left out key world-building elements in my opening pages. In short, I didn't finish the book. I was hocking St. John's Cathedral thinking it was the Taj Mahal.

Successful writers don't stop.

You can't succeed if you never finish.

Close Twitter, delete Facebook, brick up the door that leads out of your writer's den á la Cask of Amontillado...whatever you gotta do.

I prescribe you two magic pills*: the red one (motivation) and the blue one (dedication). Take them both at the same time and you will experience an equilibrium in your belly that converts doubt into confidence and blank pages into words that reflect your heart and soul.

***I am actually not a doctor. These pills are...ya know, metaphorical***

Go forth and write! And when the book, story, poem or script is finished, congratulate yourself.

You have earned the title Writing Warrior.


Tyler E.C. Burnworth earned his MA in Creative Writing in 2016. He lives in Las Vegas under the shadow of Area 51. For more positive motivation and original fiction stories, visit his Patreon page.

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