I’ve read a few self-help, business-type books in my day. Most have the feel of trying to be a precursor to lots of corporate training classes. They are big on concept and slim on concrete detail.

Finished by Jon Acuff is different.


I’d never read any of his work before, and I probably wouldn’t have picked this one up if it hadn’t been for the subtitle: Give yourself the gift of done. I take great satisfaction in crossing items off my list. Leaving things hanging is a slow death. For those of you out there that don’t know me personally, you’ve probably got the gist that I’m not a procrastinator.

This book wasn’t designed with me in mind, but I still found it highly enjoyable and informational. I think part of the reason I enjoyed it so much is that he was preaching to the choir.

One of his first tips was to cut your goal in half. I laughed at that because I immediately thought of my first archery class. I had gone in thinking I would shoot a bulls eye by the end of that lesson. I dutifully listened to the instructions, and when it was my turn, I got up and fired my arrow, watching it go astray and land in the grass. My response? Hmmm … new goal – hit the target!

My attention really perked up in the book when Acuff uses a writing example. His theory is that most people who say that they want to write a novel never start. They get bogged down in the outline. Suckers! I thought, “Then don’t write an outline.” I solved that one in a very easy way … for me at least. Outlining and creativity don’t mix in my brain.

But in all seriousness, this book helped me learn how other people think. I realize my thought processes are not the norm, and this provided much insight. I can see it being useful in a work setting, as well as for writing a character that is unlike me.

I highly recommend this book. It is funny and motivation and doesn’t add in a guilt trip like many books in this niche. Instead it gives basic concepts and shows how they might be applied, but with a great deal of personalization possible.

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