I'm currently working on a romantic suspense set in the Congo featuring a blue diamond for Wild Rose Press' Jewels of the Night call. The deadline is March 31. I'm in the middle of chapter four of a possible eight or nine chapters. About half done. I've also got a paranormal novel that I've been working on for a while. I'm in chapter thirteen of twenty and approximately half done via word count. I know I have a lot of revisions to do on that one. There is a point behind this, but of course you knew that, didn't you?
Last night as I was drifting off to sleep, my paranormal novel started haunting me again. Last summer I found out that a published author, one in my RWA chapter, no less, had a new series coming out. The name of her series? The same name I'd planned to use for my series that I'd been working on for over a year. To say that I was bummed or disappointed is an understatement. Of course, because she's published and I'm not, if I continued to use the name, others would think that I copied her. I literally felt sick to my stomach. I stopped writing for several months. This is all backstory. The long and short of it is that I stopped working on it at about the halfway point.
I've been struggling with chapter 4 of my current work in progress (WIP) for about a week. I know what I want to happen, how I want the chapter to end, but I'm having trouble getting the words down on paper (or computer screen, as the case may be). Again, at about the halfway point. When I realized this, it made me think, always a dangerous pastime.
Before, I attributed my lack of ability to finish a project as ADD, but I think it's more serious than that. I think that I am subconsciously trying to protect myself from failure. When I get to the halfway mark, I get distracted by another shiny plot idea and run off to work on that, leaving me several half finished projects. By not finishing, I can't submit and therefore can't be turned down. But by protecting myself from failure, I'm assuring myself of it. If I don't finish, I can't submit. Sure, it can't be turned down but it can't be accepted either.
So, now that I've realized how I'm sabotaging myself, I'm determined to break the cycle. I'm not starting on or working on another project until I finish my romantic suspense and I will finish it in time to submit to the March 31 deadline. You know what they say – recognizing a problem is the first step to solving it.
Do you find yourself sabotaging your own success? What do you do to work past it and accomplish your goals?