Skip to main content

Never-ending Projects

Completing tasks is a real challenge for me. This is definitely why I was diagnosed with ADHD years before high-functioning autism became the official label for my odd mix of traits. ADHD with seizures, repetitive movements, and a long list of other ill-fitting characteristics.

I have a lot of incomplete projects dating back more than two decades. I also have many completed projects I never seriously tried to publish or distribute. In other words, I do a lot of writing, sketching, programming, and planning without following through to the expected conclusion.

What's strange is that I do complete, with a lot of anxiety from a perfectionist streak, school work, magazine columns, grant applications, handouts for my students, and projects assigned by other employers. So, it isn't everything I don't complete... just the projects I seem to really want to complete for myself. My perfectionism is limited (somewhat) by deadlines, but when there is no deadline, I never stop reworking a project.

Perfectionism is unhealthy.

I outlined a series of science fiction stories in the fifth grade. I have all the notes from fifth grade through the present. I start writing the stories, get depressed with the results, and restart. I'm not a science fiction / fantasy reader because I find flaws in the stories. I want to write something that is impossible to write, of course. Novels, regardless of genre, contain minor errors, but anything scientific is going to be especially challenging to perfect. I should just write, be done with one of the novels, and move ahead.

I've done no better with my start-stop-start over crime novels or thrillers. I complete something... then decide it should be rewritten. More often, I reach the half-way mark and start again, as if 60,000 words or more should be tossed aside.

Now, I do complete some stories. In fact, I've completed a lot of short stories, theatrical scripts, and lots of poetry. But, I don't do anything with those works, either, because I wonder how good they really are. Self-doubts eventually win and I do nothing with the works.

I've tried weekly deadlines for myself, writers groups, and having a student edit my works. Nothing seems to counter the pattern of starting over too often. I'm hoping this changes someday.

It's sad that I can be amazingly productive and end up canceling out my efforts with panic.

Comments

Post a Comment

Comments violating the policies of this blog will not be approved for posting. Language and content should be appropriate for all readers and maintain a polite tone. Thank you.

Popular posts from this blog

Autistic Burnout

Summer demands a lot of social energy, especially for parents. For autistics, the never-ending social calendar of summer can cause serious autistic burnout. Host C. S. Wyatt discusses his need to find a balance between social demands and self-care. Check out this episode!

Autism, Asperger's, and IQ

"Aren't people with Asperger's more likely to be geniuses? Isn't genius related to autism?" A university student asked this in a course I am teaching. The class discussion was covering neurological differences, free will, and the nature versus nurture debate. The textbook for the course includes sidebars on the brain and behavior throughout chapters on ethics and morality. This student was asking a question reflecting media portrayals of autism spectrum disorders, social skills difficulties, and genius. I did not address this question from a personal perspective in class, but I have when speaking to groups of parents, educators, and caregivers. Some of the reasons these questions arise, as mentioned above, are media portrayals and news coverage of autism. Examples include: Television shows with gifted characters either identified with or assumed to have autistic traits: Alphas, Big Bang Theory, Bones, Rizzoli and Isles, Touch, and others. Some would include

Free eBook on Autism and Relationships

This blog post is a bit unusual. I am testing to see if visitors can download a free eBook from this blog. I have linked to the file, which sits on our Web server. We have successfully tested the ePub edition of A Spectrum of Relationships . Only the abridged ePub edition is available for free at this time, not an Amazon Kindle edition, due to Amazon's policy requesting only full, commercial editions from small publishers. Until the text is revised and edited, I'm not comfortable publishing it formally. The commercial version will be released for the Amazon Kindle as well as other devices. In fact, it might be released first for the Kindle, if things go as planned. Downloading an ePub can be a challenge: some browsers try to open the file directly. To download the ePub, you might have to "right-click" and download the linked file. If you have the ePub extension installed, the FireFox browser will open the ePub correctly. A Spectrum of Relationships (ePub file) [