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Endings Are Easy

It's the last day of school around here. I didn't have to drag the kids out of bed this morning, no crankiness or moodiness at the bathroom sink, they were singing and happy all through breakfast, practically bouncing through the chants of "Last Day of School! Last Day of School!" with mouths full of pancake syrup, gummi vitamins, and juice.

And since I'm in the mindset of writing the last two chapters of my WIP, swimming in the luxurious almost-doneness of it, knowing how it all works out, it hit me: endings are a lot easier than beginnings! And now I know why.

Like the past school year and other works-in-progress, we who have undergone the journey have endured the struggles, the hard work, the unknowns, and came out the other side, triumphant. Things we had to do weren't fair and they were hard and we had to change something inside ourselves to adjust and it wasn't always the way we wanted it to go, but that was in the past--in retrospect, we became better for having gone through it, found out more about our friends and ourselves and what we're capable of beyond what we thought we already knew. We learned. We grew. And now, looking back, we can see how we're better for having enjoyed a good story and a good year. We'll look back on this and remember the highlights, looking forward to the next step along the way. This last, little bit is just the icing on the cake.

Mmmm. Cake!

The First Day (like the First Page) is always exciting and new, but because we don't know what we're getting into, and we don't know exactly where we're going, there's a little bit of fear and anxiety, a little bit of "I Don't Know What the Heck I'm Doing!" that is fun in its stumbling recklessness, but far from our comfortable ordinary days. Surprises are adventurous, but also scary, and while we can try to anticipate the unexpected, we know that--by definition--we can't. Only when we've passed the test, done the deed, risen to the challenge and made it out again can we look back and see how far we've come, what we've accomplished, and how our story has shaped itself. As Alanis would say, the only way out is through.

My kids are living up their Last Day, beaming and smiling and laughing over boxes of teachers' gifts and worn, saggy backpacks filled with barely more than extra-special lunch treats. I get to enjoy it, too, without the strain of prodding kids awake or nagging about missing homework; we all know how this goes and we're enjoying the very end because it is the end. We're savoring the last dregs.

I'll feel the same when I sit down to the keyboard later to write. For me, endings are easy, it's beginnings that are hard. (But I'm still looking forward to the next project!)

So, at the end of the week, I'm asking: What's easier for you to write, beginnings or endings?


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 15th, 2012 02:11 pm (UTC)
BEGINNINGS. I cannot end things to save my life. ;-)
Jun. 15th, 2012 05:29 pm (UTC)
HAHAHA! Well, then, it's a good thing we want you to have a long, happy life sans sad ending! ;-)
Jun. 15th, 2012 02:33 pm (UTC)
Are endings easy?
I disagree. Endings are not easy.This year I published my first book,Hanging in the Stars. I thought the ending I created was realistic, and hopeful. However, a class of ninth graders who just finished my book e-mailed me this week. Several of them were upset
with the ending. They wanted the young lovers to stay together, and the bad guy to be destroyed by good. Endings of a school year are joyful, but beware when you are creating an ending in a book!
Jun. 15th, 2012 05:31 pm (UTC)
Re: Are endings easy?
It just goes to show you can't please all of the people all of the time...Of course, all kids want everything to be "fair" and work out in the end, good conquers evil and all that, but sometimes stories--as in life--don't always go the way we expect.

Best of luck with the next beginning-to-end!
Jun. 15th, 2012 05:43 pm (UTC)
Well, even if endings aren't easier, they're a lot more satisfying. Beginnings are scary with a blank page/new class staring at you. By then end, you're familiar with the characters/class. Though it's sometimes hard to say goodbye, you've accomplished great things together so it's okay--plus, with school, it starts up again in a few months. With writing, there's a whole new book out there waiting to be written. And so it starts again--at the beginning.

Jun. 18th, 2012 08:20 am (UTC)
I couldn't've said it better myself. I should just RT this as my post right here. ;-)
Jun. 15th, 2012 06:25 pm (UTC)
Friday Five
User authorwithin referenced to your post from Friday Five saying: [...] 1. I love this post by Dawn Metcalf [...]
Jun. 18th, 2012 08:21 am (UTC)
Re: Friday Five
Speaking of RT's...thanks for the RT!
Jun. 15th, 2012 09:38 pm (UTC)
Beginnings are so easy...middles and endings kill me. That's why it takes me so long to complete a first draft -- I take off, and then I stutter and falter and procrastinate ;)
Jun. 18th, 2012 08:21 am (UTC)
And that's when we grab the pompoms. GO, ROBIN!!!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )