Very few individuals with goals set out to deliberately hamper their potential. Unfortunately, whether you’re a blogger, writer, content developer or fiction author, self-sabotage is real. It slips in all sorts of clever ways. Whether through pesky writer’s block or just self-distraction, we creative types have so many ways to unintentionally develop habits that cost ourselves time, opportunity and money. And it’s ludicrous.

Why should you care what I think about self-sabotage? Another writer might say, so yeah, I’ve been writing professionally for over eight years. Everything from business proposals and press releases, to political commentary and breaking news, to persuasive essays and fiction. I previously founded Fictionista Workshop (now the Writer’s Collective), a collaborative, virtual workshop for online fiction authors that helped dozens of women get published. Blah, blah let’s connect on LinkedIn.

All of that means nothing. What matters more is that I’m a recovering self-saboteur. I’ve tried and failed at NaNoWriMo four years in a row. Many years ago, my obsession with perfection caused me to consistently miss dozens of deadlines that cost me paid writing gigs. As I type this, I have three fully outlined yet unfinished novels on my hard drive with word counts between 35k-90k. They remain in draft because they’re “not good enough”, ok?

The most promising novel is a 30-chapter 210k word creation from 2008 that’s now scattered across 15 folders on my hard drive. Everyone that has read it loves it. Friends and family ask when it’ll be published. The book’s Facebook page has over 1k likes. 8 years later, I’m just now inching closer to being finished. Just typing that makes me feel like an idiot because that’s what I was, no doubt. Needless to say, I know a little about self-sabotage and my writing is the only area of my life that I formed these awful habits.

How did I stop? By realizing I might have a problem, observing my behavior and committing daily to stopping. That’s it. There’s no magical cure. Just stop. So please allow me to share with you the top three ways I self-sabotaged and how I quit so you too can stop being ridiculous.

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