I have what I affectionately refer to as Writer's ADD. Think of it as the polar opposite of Writer's Block. Instead of having no ideas, I have too many. And I want to write them all.
I don't remember this being such an issue when I was younger. Hell, I wrote two novels before I turned 17. I could sit and write for hours... on the same topic! Now, I've already been distracted twice while typing this blog post.
Part of the problem is that every idea I think of sounds amazing, until I start to write it. And this, I understand, has more to do with being my own toughest critic than anything else. Perhaps if I wasn't so hard on myself, I wouldn't think every idea sucks once it's on the page.
Another problem is that I like instant gratification. I can't write a romantic scene between two characters in Rosetta because those two characters aren't together yet. So instead of patiently waiting to build up to it, I thought of a new idea, where the main character is already in a relationship at the beginning of the story. Now I can write that romantic scene without having to wait.
Yes, that is the same logic I apply when I write fanfiction.
And perhaps part of the problem could be that I have a subconscious fear of success. If I never finish anything, I'll never be successful and then I won't have the pressures of living up to fans' expectations, publishers' expectations, friends' expectations, my family's expectations and my own expectations. This has the added bonus of being both really depressing and difficult to fix, so I'm hoping this is not the problem.
Most likely, it's what my 4th grade Reading/Language teacher told my mother--my brain goes faster than my hand. And I suppose having too many ideas is better than having none, though if none of them are ever written I guess it doesn't make a difference. That's why setting deadlines (and answering to someone else) is so important for me. Having someone else who's anticipating my chapters motivates me better than I could ever motivate myself.
The moral of today's story? Always write with a buddy.