Finish Your Writing Project by Keeping the Goal Small
One of the classic ways in which students and all writers get stuck is thinking that whatever they are working on will become their Magnum Opus -- the most important work in their life.
We get so involved in our writing, it starts to feel like a part of ourselves and once that ego gets slapped in it becomes oh so hard to finish.
You think your work will reflect your greatest achievement or all of who you are. The problem with that logic is that as living beings we remain in a process of becoming. The book can never be done while you are alive. If the book reflects you and you are not dead, there always seems to be more.
Even folks who think they want to be done may suffer from this "magnum opus syndrome."
The book, thesis or dissertation may well be your magnum opus...But likely not. It's a school paper that must speak to the requirements of the program. Such grand work rarely is born out of such a restrictive structure...in my opinion.
Also, a great irony is that your work is much more likely to at least lead to your magnum opus if you stop treating it as such. Your writing needs room to breath-- too much ego does to writing what too much water does to a plant... Don't drown your writing in ambition.
Just write the darn thing...
Sarah Federman, PhD