I'm hitting that spot in my book project, the last big push. There will be more work to do after this part, but there's this sticky spot in every big project at about 80% where I always second guess myself.
"What am I doing?" "I should just quit." "I should scrap everything and start again." "This is terrible." You know that spot - it's too late to start again and it's time to dig in for one last push. The problem is, the more I care about a project the more I doubt myself and become hesitant, looking for ways to trip myself up.
There's the warring of the voices, the critical one telling me that it's all crap and to just give up, daring me to do the work - that one is espeically loud at this stage. I know it's just fear, but some days that doesn't help to drown out the barrage of doubt-instilling words.
The other voice is the hopeful one, it's not as loud, but she is insistent. This one is the pride I feel when I work on the project, the deep down feeling of how the project is right and good and true to what I want to say.
My tactic with those voices is to not squash the critic, but to fan hope. I look for her, listen harder to her, some days she just whispers. I try to look at my critic as the fear she is and that helps. I don't mind doing something that scares me, there's that edge of adrenaline that spurs me on.
Part of the fear for me is looking at any project as the be-all and end-all, this is it, the only thing I'll ever do. That makes the project, every aspect of it, seem huge and daunting, oppressive.
My trick for getting over that big hurdle in a project is to plan for what's next. What will I write next? What will I learn next? What will I teach next? What's my next vacation? What fun will I have when I have some hours back in my day? Big things, little things, I make lists and sign up for classes; I shop a little.
Giving myself something to look forward to, to plan and work for takes the big and scary out of the finishing of projects, it gets me over that last hump. It dials back something that seems monumental and duanting to something that is just a step, one of many things I'll do in my life.
How do you push through big projects?