I met a writing pal of mine for breakfast yesterday morning. We spent over three hours catching up and talking about books, films, writing, and--among other things--New Year's resolutions. (Yes, we're aware that it's the end of April.) In January, we both resolved to complete the respective writing projects we were working on. Or rather, he made a post on our writing group's blog about making that his resolution, and I elected to borrow it as mine as well.
Because finishing stuff is hard. If I completed one full draft for every ten stories I started, I'd be a pretty prolific writer. But as it is, I have several novels with beginnings, a few with middles, and none with endings. My friend and I agree that there are many contributing factors to this problem. Busy lives certainly falls near the top of the list. As does over-ambition (leading to too many starts without any finishes). Premature editing and re-drafting early chapters before finishing a complete draft figures prominently as well.
But mostly, we both miss the accountability of deadlines that we had in college and graduate school. Self-imposed deadlines (and New Year's resolutions) just don't carry the same weight as being accountable to another person.
So we made a pact. The draft pact. We're each going to finish drafts for the manuscripts we're currently working on by July 1, which gives us about two months. Here goes!