Finishing School: Getting big things done one small thing at a time


Finishing School helps writers–and others with large, unfinished projects–define goals, break their job up into discrete tasks, assign time to each task, be accountable, receive support and celebrate progress. In that way we stay on track with novels, screenplays and nonfiction books, as well as outlines, proposals, collections of poetry and short stories. Finishing School also works for daunting projects outside of the literary realm, such as preparing one’s taxes, updating one’s resume, etc.

What have we accomplished?

One person sketched out a novel. Another person outlined a nonfiction book. One outlined a work of young adult fiction. Another completed and polished four short fiction pieces and submitted them. Another created a timeline for a long sci-fi work. Another drafted a long journalistic article. One person completed five poems for a book project.

Who is it for?

Finishing School is for anyone who needs to complete a large project by breaking it up into manageable pieces. Though mostly writers are using it now, it can be used for any task. It’s about the process, or method, of finishing itself. It’s very simple. It is easy to learn.


The rationale for Finishing School is that completing artistic work brings creative happiness. But many creative people get stalled before completing because we have unbalanced talents. The talent that allows us to see visions, hear voices and imagine scenes is stronger than the talent that allows us to plan, organize, marshal our resources, assess, analyze, correct, redo and present. So we need to shore up that other side. That is the rationale for Finishing School: a system that helps creative people accomplish the executive, left-brain activities necessary to the fulfillment of their creative lives.


Finishing School is held both online and at Cary’s house in the Ocean Beach neighborhood of San Francisco.  It occurs in one-month segments. Online Finishing School runs every Saturday morning at 8 a.m. Pacific Time; SF Finishing School runs every Tuesday evening at 7:15 pm.


Sign up here