How long have you been working on your memoir? A year? Five years? Ten? Twelve?
How much longer do you have to go before you can say that draft is done? Or rather, I should ask – how much longer do you THINK you have to go on it?
A funny thing happens when we get close to the end of a major project. A project that could completely change our lives, that could transform our relationships, catapult us into that esteemed position of ‘author’ that we claim to have been wanting for aeons, that could see us having to Turn Pro and learn how to hold ourselves in agent and editor and publisher meetings, or even send our author bio out there for all the world to see….
What do we do?
We book a ticket to Mexico. We tear down the house (or throw out the oven, as was the case for one writer I knew. She then had to get ANOTHER oven, and get it installed… oh dear). For me, two weeks away from completing my writing degree at RMIT in Melbourne, I managed to pack up my entire life and heave it into my car within the space of four hours.
What is it about nearing the end-point of something that sees us sabotaging ourselves and heading for the biggest distraction we can find?
It’s called Fear of Success. And it’s so much more treacherous than fear of failure. why? Because success demands much more of us.
Are you sabotaging your success when you’re two minutes from the finish line of your draft, or just about to get a ‘heck yes’ on your query, or just a few weeks away from completion?
I made a seven minute video in our Facebook group this week which tells you alllllll about where this comes from, and what you can do about it.
I don’t judge! I’m guilty of all the distractions, which is why I always advise getting a writing mentor who is going to call you on it. But what prompted me to post the video was a wonderful client who had told me her goal was to finish her draft by Christmas. She had one chapter to go. I asked her (as kindly as I could) if she could finish that chapter this week (the sooner you have that rough draft, the sooner you can shape the story as a whole!) which she resisted, at first. Three days later I received a beautiful message saying she was in tears of joy as her draft was finally complete – after years.
It reminded me of this poignant quote (I’m not sure who it’s by):
Freedom can be terrifying after confinement