Monday, May 5, 2008

Thinking things up

I read somewhere that there are three kinds of people: beginners, middlers, and enders. I am definitely not an ender. Getting to the end of a story, a poem, a letter, I feel that little knot in my brain that says, this isn't right, and I quit. Or I often do. Obviously, as a writer, I need to discipline my instincts and find a graceful exit. But this is the part of writing I dislike and I'm not sure why. Ending means it's time to push the baby out of the nest, and maybe it will crash in the bushes, never soar high enough to be seen. Maybe that's it. Or I'm so inmeshed with characters that I just don't know how to say goodbye. This too. Maybe I'm lazy or unimaginative.

No, my imagination is always on. I can start projects at the fall of a leaf. As we speak, I am in the midst of designing a short writing course for adult religious education at my fellowship. And I have scads of poems that live in the notebook but which are really drafts in need of revision. If I sieved through my old journals, who knows how much stuff I've thought about writing and never completed. No, ideas abound. Endings wither. Is this true for anyone else out there?