The Fear Of Not Finishing What I’ve Started.

A Light Against The Darkness

A Light Against The Darkness
by Eric A. Gehlin

There was a time, not long ago when I was almost paralyzed by the prospect of a blank screen or an unmarked piece of paper.

I had ideas screaming to be released from the prison of my imagination but I would freeze at the thought of taking that first step…how would I fill the blank space before me?

I was afraid…afraid to take that first step…afraid to start.

I struggled with the fear for nearly two years before finding the strength and confidence to take that first step to fill the blank screen, the unmarked piece of paper.  Now, those ideas that struggled for freedom are finding their voice and I have taken that first step to make them reality.


by Eric A. Gehlin

Having taken that first important step, my ideas take shape and are in various stages of the creative process. The shorter pieces have been completed and are being posted on this blog. These completed works are major victories for me. Each one is a stepping stone toward my larger projects; a series of short science fiction stories and a series of alternate history/post-apocalyptic novels. I’m very passionate about these projects. They are full of unexpected surprises for me, taking on a life of their own as I write them

But now I find myself plagued by a new fear and though it’s not unexpected, it’s a fear nonetheless…

The fear of not finishing what I’ve started.


by Eric A. Gehlin

I know it’s an irrational fear. I keep working on my projects and posts, knowing I’ll complete them but the fear of not finishing still nags me.

I’ll bet that I’m not alone…that many of you cleared the hurdle of starting a project only to face the fear of not finishing what you started.  Perhaps , like me, you’re experiencing that fear now. If so, I’d like to hear from you.

Let me know how you are coping or have coped with this kind of fear.

What strategies do you employ to drive it away and keep your creative process on track?

I invite you to share your thoughts.

Post a comment.

I’m sure your insights will not only help me but others as well.



14 thoughts on “The Fear Of Not Finishing What I’ve Started.

  1. Hey Eric,
    What you’re describing is an all-too-familiar experience, but I’ve learned that it’s better to temporarily put a project on hold when things are not “flowing.” I used to stare at my computer screen for hours trying to force stories and meet self-imposed deadlines, when the reality was that I could look at the project/story with a fresh mindset at a later date and really knock it out of the park then. Bottom line: if the project/story is truly meant to be, it’ll come naturally to you at the right time and there’s no point in stressing about the finish line in the interim.

    Liked by 2 people

    • This is great advice!!

      Though I set definite deadlines for my short projects (blog posts or single page pieces), my large projects (short stories, novels) have a very flexible schedule with loose deadlines that ebb and flow as the project takes shape. The story itself is the boss and takes on a life of it’s own. Best not to fight it,,,let it find it’s own path.

      I guess my hang-up is that I struggled so long to reach this point that I feel I might lose momentum or run out of creative steam.

      Of course, this is my own insecurity playing mind games with me…I ought to know better.

      Thanks so much for your comments and especially for following my blog. Keep watching. Exciting things will happen here. I guarantee it!!


  2. I’m afraid that I can’t start anything. I can’t seem to bring myself to write anything. I guess I don’t have any motivation to.
    But being that you’re my dad 🙂 I know you can finish whatever you start. You always have!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post and I love the pictures…I can relate to not being able portray what you have in your mind on the screen… I usually just work on other things when things aren’t going the way I want… I have learnt that I would just be eternally frustrated otherwise. haha

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, that’s exactly what happens to me because I work with both words and pictures. Shifting gears to somethlng different sounds like a good strategy.

      Thank you for your comment.


  4. See, my problem is not the anxiety, but rather the lack of skill, and of course that ever-nagging self worth saying that whatever I make isn’t going to be “good enough” (we are indeed or own worst critics!). If they would just invent a machine that would scan our minds when we so choose and the very image and creativity that we are envisioning at that very moment be imposed on the screen in some workable format would be absolutely perfect. But, alas, the masterminds behind all the cool gadgets that have come out haven’t made it that far yet. Never mind the fact that once the creative juices get flowing that my mind goes in 20 different directions at once and all too often I get sidetracked and never get started much less finished. At least you get started, be glad for that -grins-

    Liked by 1 person

    • It seems that during the writing of your comment you have come up with an excellent idea for a story (or series of stories).

      A creative person (writer, artist, dancer, wharever you like) who aquires a device that can tap into the brain producing a work of perfection directly from the creator’s thoughts. At first, this would be a godsend for the artist but there would be potential drawbacks inviting disaster.

      Sounds like something you could work with. Play with it…jot some ideas and notes. Run wild with it and see what happens!!

      Many thanks for your comment.



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