“It is always important to know when something has reached its end. Closing circles, shutting doors, finishing chapters, it doesn’t matter what we call it; what matters is to leave in the past those moments in life that are over.” ~ Paulo Coelho
My greatest struggle in writing is the end. I can spend hours on a story perfecting the setting and characters, but when it comes to the end…I want it done. If you read my first drafts of any story, it is apparent how much I hate endings. They are rushed and inconclusive. Done.
It’s indicative as to how I live my life. I don’t like endings that drag on with mess. When something is over, it’s over. No looking back. No long drawn out nights. Yup! I’m conclusive that way.
Get the paperwork filed and move on. Pack the house and move on. Say goodbye and move on. Tell the story and move on.
If only it were so simple. Far too often, after I’ve said done, it comes back to haunt me. Lingering emotions tighten their grip until I have to deal with the mess I try so hard to avoid. This is probably not the healthiest way to live.
There’s something important about endings. The greatest lessons lie in goodbye’s. When we sweep them away and move on as if they never happened, we miss the lesson. Perhaps we avoid it for that reason. Lessons change us. Change is hard. Better just to be done.
Yet, we can’t get away from them.
When I skimp on the endings in my story, far too often I don’t want to delve into the lesson. All the common advice says to tell the story and let the readers take away what they will. Don’t be preachy. Don’t shove it down their throats. I understand the advice. I’ve avoided my share of self-righteous people trying to tell me how to live my life.
But if we can’t take something from a story, what’s the point of writing? I look to Paulo Coehlo who lays forth his stories like philosophy. He has no shame in creating stories with moral fibers and laying them out for the reader. And his books have made an impact on my life and views of the world. Some might say that he’s preachy, yet he’s wildly successful. There has to be something to it.
I think I’ll take more time on my endings. Put a little more heart and lesson into the conclusion of my story. Allow myself to learn a little. Not just in writing, but in life as well. Maybe it’s a lesson we can all take with us. Slow down and allow endings in life to change you. We all might be a little better for it.