Finishers and openers; another way to understand our psyche. I recently found an interesting post on Psychology Today by Gretchen Ruben, Quiz: Are You a Finisher or an Opener? that helps
I’d never thought about it, but I realise I’ve flip-flopped between them—more so since becoming menopausal! Lol!
An opener is someone with a multitude of grand ideas. They get bogged down and jump back and forth between projects, never finishing one. Or they allow themselves to become discouraged and quit before crossing the finish line.
As you may have already guessed, a finisher completes what they start. They stick to one project at a time and work systematically through the tasks until they have completed or met their goal.
Gretchen’s article brought to mind the old fable, ‘The Tortoise and The Hare’.
The Hare was enthusiastic and fast, but he allowed distractions (other projects) to get in his way and looked for shortcuts to help him catch up. Of course, we all know how that went.
The Tortoise stood at the starting line with one thing in mind: finishing the race. He didn’t try to take shortcuts (which could cause shoddy work). He was in for the long haul. He wasn’t giving up.
Which am I?
I usually have a couple of projects ongoing simultaneously. However, both will be at different stages of my workflow. This allows for a break when I need to step away from intensive line editing work, enabling me to continue with fresh eyes.
However, when I’m struck by any great ideas while working, e.g. potential blog posts, courses, or ebooks, I jot them down so I don’t forget to pick them up later. But keep focused on the projects to hand.
I’ve read many stories from well-known authors about their journeys to becoming published. The one common theme in all of their stories was perseverance. I understand that when you’ve put so much time and effort into your craft, you can’t help but feel discouraged.
Remember: you are not alone in these feelings of desolation but in splendid company.
Kathryn Stockett wrote her book, ‘The Help’, over five years. She survived three and a half years of rejections—60 in total! However, it was the 61st agent who took her on and ‘The Help‘ spent 100 weeks on the best-seller list.
Finishers and openers are simply another way to understand our psyche. Understanding your creative pattern will help you create a writing schedule.
While waiting to get picked up by an agent, why not work with an experienced editor. Use their expertise to hone your craft.
I take the time to work with my unpublished clients, offer valuable critiques, and encourage them to never give up and persevere.
We all know who won that fated race.
Are you the Tortoise or the Hare?
How’s your current writing project is going? Need a sounding board or accountability partner? Let’s chat.