Finishing: A Way to Write by Ross Kneale

I remember when I was fifteen, and I was running the 60 Meters on behalf of my form class on one of our sports days. I had practised fairly hard, mainly because I wanted to win, but also because I knew plenty of people would be watching, including a girl I had fancied since year eight. My heart was racing long before our (strict) physical education teacher, Mr. Young, began counting down. And once I knew the moment was coming for me to sprint, I froze, only for a second, but by then everyone else had already dashed off. I ended up coming last and sat with my head down after I crossed the finish line. Later, all of my friends comforted me and told me (or lied to me more like) that it was okay. It wasn’t.

Writing doesn’t have the same immediate consequences as racing, and you can procrastinate till your heart’s content, but, after all the planning and preparation, when it comes for the time to run, run – without hesitation. Ignore the mistakes, the sentences that don’t make sense, plot holes, bad characterisations, shit dialogue, inaccurate historical references, weak scientific explanations, poor grammar, poor punctuation and even that red, squiggly line. Just write. Once you’ve finished you can look back on the race to see where you went wrong and where you can improve. This isn’t the best way to approach writing, or the only way, but it’s definitely a way.

Short Bio: Ross Kneale is dyslexic and finds writing and reading difficult, but he always tries to ensure he finishes everything he starts, except for cereal and relationships.

  1. Strike while the iron is hot and inspiration fresh? Absolutely! (And ‘way better than trying to carry a bunch of loose ends around in your head; )
    Oh, and Diana sent me too: )

  2. Here, I thought you were going to suggest writing the ending first, which might not be a bad strategy at times.
    But now you have me thinking of just running anywhere when that gun sounds. Maybe into the arms of that girl, even. Or possibly the other direction in fright.
    Yes, I agree wholly with the practice of just writing wildly as you may and cleaning up afterward. Nabokov, we should acknowledge, took another track, writing and polishing each sentence to perfection before moving on to the next. No room for procrastination there, either, as I see it.
    Now, back to work …

    1. It isn’t. Haha, unfortunately she’s taken now. I’ve never heard of Nabokov but I’ll be sure to research him now. Glad you enjoyed it.

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