Ever finish a book about finishing and goal setting… and then fall behind?
It’s been a rough week. Sick friend. Taking care of our niece. Been kind of out of it (am I getting sick?). Anyway, it’s book review time!
I read Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done by Jon Acuff.
#BeatTheBacklist (2017), Author I Haven’t Previously Read
Witty, entertaining, inspirational, and easy-to-follow — this is a great book. I didn’t just finish reading it, I actually did all the suggested activities (on my blog, for accountability). I’ve been goal-setting for years. This book has some extra and different approaches. It had me reevaluate and update nearly all of my goals. (Which is why I set the book down a few times — to stop to do the activities. To be an active reader. To commit and make the changes.)
I picked the book up when it was on sale, and I’m glad I did. I’d recommend this to anyone who has goals they’ve yet to achieve, or is thinking about setting some goals. Especially to those who do NaNoWriMo — even more so to the writers who have tried and failed at it.
“When it stopped being perfect, I stopped too.” This really describes me as a writer. When I find a scene or chapter that isn’t perfect, I stop. Let it sit until I know how to fix it. And I’ll go for weeks, months, or even years before making any more progress. Writing isn’t an issue. It’s editing that takes me forever. This book made me take a hard look at that.
“Developing tolerance for imperfection.” That’s my hurtle.
“Inadequate to do a job because I don’t know how to do it at that level.” Me. Called out. That’s me when I’m editing. That’s me searching the same document for the twentieth time convinced there’s another error, one more stray comma, another word that should be a stronger one, and one that should be a more common word. Me. So me. Accurate.
“A noble obstacle is a virtuous-sounding reason for not working toward a finish.” Yeah, I have those. A lot of them are editing related. The cuckoo of the dangers of success is another I definitely have.
I like the idea of data as a gift. The idea that data can show that, yes, the bank account is low but more money is being spent on something than was noticed makes sense. Until I looked at the data, I hadn’t slap-in-the-face realized that what took me 72 days to write took 72 months to edit. I can do better. I have to do better.
“It’s one thing to complete your book. It’s another thing to have that book open to feedback from strangers…” That’s what keeps me in the editing cycle instead of the Finished path.
The part that explained the “ignorance is bliss” saying, that blew my mind. That the expression is being interpreted backward!
Not knowing what to do with data– I’ve been there, too. Someone hands me data about something important, but doesn’t give me the next step or any idea what to do with that information… I hate that. Squirrels have definitely shown up because I didn’t know what to do with data.
I have read a few motivational and goal-setting books. I’d say this is tied with Year of Yes for my favorite in that genre. I read all of this book because, come on, not finishing a book with this title is like the ultimate in failure! Also, it was worth reading. Even the parts where I felt called out, I knew I was reading something that could put me on a better path.
The cover with the Finish Line banner is simple and makes sense. The book was very well edited. I feel the book did change me in some way, because it made me be more honest with myself about my goals. I think it’s a great book for authors. Also, it would make an excellent graduation present. Or a holiday present for anyone who sets New Year’s resolutions and fails them soon after.
I am curious which Harry Potter book the author didn’t finish reading, because it says 7.9 of 8 books. There were 7 original books.
Show, Don’t Tell: How to write vivid descriptions, handle backstory, and describe your characters’ emotions by Sandra Gerth
#BeatTheBacklist (2016), Author I Haven’t Previously Read, Writing Craft
This book should come with a coupon for the Emotional Thesaurus. (I already have a copy, but if you don’t, get that first.) This is more of a companion, a book about how to use that book to improve your book. I wish I had learned more from this book. That is, I wish I had read it a few years ago when I could have appreciated it more. I would recommend it to those who want to know more about this write tip. It is informative.