Sep 9, 2008

Finishers Wanted

by Valerie Ipson

In an address given by Thomas S. Monson in 1972, he talked about seeing a sign in a furniture store that read "Finishers Wanted." He then went on to talk about accomplishing all the important work of this lfe and enduring to the end. For an aspiring writer this phrase can relate directly to the work of writing and seeing a project through to the end--something I struggle with. I have a box load of first chapters and notes for at least 10 novels and snippets of children's stories here and there as evidence.

I'm always eager to hear how other authors "did it"--what was their routine, how did they churn out page after page, chapter after chapter, how did they finish? It's as if there will be some magic formula that will be the key to unlocking my "finishing" dreams. In all my research of this topic I've come up with this (best put by Joan Sowards as related by Kerry Blair): "Just write the dang book!" I think that means I just need to sit at my computer and type--that's the secret.

President Monson said, "Finishers have the capacity to visualize their objective--vision without effort [though] is daydreaming; [and] effort without vision is drudgery; but vision, coupled with effort, will obtain the prize. Then he quotes a well-known poem:

Stick to your task ’til it sticks to you;
Beginners are many, but enders are few.
Honor, power, place and praise
Will always come to the one who stays.
Stick to your task ’til it sticks to you;
Bend at it, sweat at it, smile at it, too;
For out of the bend and the sweat and the smile
Will come life’s victories after a while.—Author Unknown

Now a sign hangs above my computer with a picture of President Monson and the phrase Finshers Wanted (thanks to Barbara who shared this thought in our chapter meeting). I'm not so concerned with the "honor, power, place, and praise" the poem mentions--I JUST WANT TO FINISH!


  1. Right to the point, Valerie. I need to engrave your essay in every little compartment of my brain. Finishers wanted and - just write the dang book.

  2. Great essay, Valerie! I think I will make one of those signs for my own office space...and every other room in my house! It is a keeper!!!

  3. Valerie, this is a great message. I also need to put this on my computer. I have several first chapters and lots of great ideas!

  4. It's on my computer, what a wonderful inspiration. Thanks for sharing, gosh, I needed that.

  5. I think finishing means, "Bottom in chair, day after day, until complete." It can be discouraging on some days when it feels like I'll never finish, but, like you said, if I have the vision in my mind and I know that I want to finish it, it makes it a little easier. And, I just finish the dang book :).


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