Why is Writing the Ending so Hard?!

So, I’ve been blogging about this for a while. I was writing something that I didn’t feel I was ready to write yet, so I jumped ship for another project, a YA paranormal novel that I’ve written in record time (so far). I completed 40,000 words of a first draft in two and a half months. Maybe most write faster, and that’s cool, but for me, that’s an amazing feat. It took me almost two years to complete a first draft of a project I finished last year, and that word count came in at 50,000 words.

But now I’m left with the task of writing an ending. I have 13,000 words left to go, and all the events are planned out and ready to be committed to paper. Perfect, right? Well, that’s what I thought. But why is this becoming so hard? I’ve chalked it down to one thing:

The honeymoon period is over.


I hate to say it, but it happens in every relationship, especially the special kind of relationship that an author has with his or her work-in-progress (WIP). The initial impulse for a piece is like falling in love. There’s passion and excitement and obsession. With my current WIP, it was all I could think about. I’d develop the plot in the shower, daydream about scenes while sitting in traffic, have pretend conversations with characters while I was at work. This kind of mania made me really productive for the first two weeks. But then something happened.

I didn’t fall out of love, but I didn’t feel maddening passion anymore either. And then when I thought about it, I realized that this happens to a lot of my projects — all of them, actually. I get two thirds through a WIP, and suddenly, I just don’t feel the same. I get a little bored and the haze of the high fades away. Because of this, I get over critical and insecure. I start rereading earlier scenes, and when I find one that I don’t like, I get nervous. I start feeling like maybe my idea was stupid or maybe I won’t get my good ideas on paper in a way that *actually* makes them sound good.

All of this leads to slowed progress. I’ve written a grand total of 2500 words in a little less than four weeks. I used to write that in a couple days when I was on the writing high.

So, what do I do? Do I take a break and wait for the inspiration to return to me, or do I keep trudging through, knowing that if I get all my ideas out I can spit shine them later? I’m leaning toward doing the latter, but I won’t lie when I say that I’m ready to move onto another project for a while. I think being invested in something for a long time makes it easy to burn out, and I already have a short attention span. I honestly don’t know how some authors do it. Committing yourself to a series as expansive and time consuming as Harry Potter or A Song of Ice and Fire must be exhausting.

How do you keep yourself going? How do you feel about writing endings?


3 responses to “Why is Writing the Ending so Hard?!

  1. Unfortunately, I really think this is why I write so many short stories and so little longer works. I’m working on two longer works right now and have to practically kick myself to not get distracted and just write. I’m struggling with why this is for me, and I came up with one good reason. Fear of failure. Once I finish, I have to do something with it. So, what if it fails?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it may be the same with me too. Once I get out of that “holy crap I started something new” high, I immediately start thinking that what I’ve created must be crap. Don’t despair though. I generally get amped up again during the editing process where I get to polish my crap :p


  2. It is like a starting to read a new book, you get so excited but by the time you get 2/3 through – you just want to skip to the end. Like some of us do when we get a new book, read the ending first..or in this case, write the ending first!

    Liked by 1 person

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