Are you a self-saboteur?

Say it again, John!
Say it again, John!

Are you a self-saboteur?

Those of you who know me, know I enjoy a variety (far too many) of TV shows. One of them is American Idol.

Yesterday, I was watching an episode from a couple days ago. It was group night in Hollywood week, and as usual there were various train wrecks being enacted; people staying up all hours of the day and night (and still not knowing the lyrics), passing out from anxiety attacks, fights, etc. One of these incidents, included a woman who displayed a phenomenon I am all too familiar with–self-sabotage.

Ostensibly, the contestant was not happy with her group and when they went to bed, spent most of the night looking for a new one, and most of her time the next day either fighting with them over it, or trying to find a new group. When it was time to go on, her performance was not up to par because she was clearly still hanging on to her emotional issues.

Naturally, she was the only one in the group to get cut.

I was struck immediately by the fact that she had sabotaged her own performance.

Why did she do that to herself?

Well, we self-saboteurs (yes, I struggle with this) don’t know we’re doing it at the time.

Procrastinators are some of the biggest self-saboteurs. To the rest of the population, procrastination is easily solved. It’s merely laziness. Just give yourself enough time to do what needs to be done. Even procrastinators can identify this solution. We always think, next time I won’t wait until the last minute, but the next time never seems to come.

This is the most vital clue that there is more than simply sloth involved. If a person continues a negative behavior even after identifying it, there’s mostly likely something more deep-seated at work.

Why do we self-sabotage?


Deep down we’re afraid we’re just not good enough, at our job, our vocation, being a parent. Sometimes, we can even do it in relationships, because we’re not good enough to be loved, either.

We hide from the fear by giving ourselves a monologue. I didn’t fail because I’m inadequate, but because I was in the wrong group, chose the wrong song, waited too long to apply, and so on.

Are you a self-saboteur?

Here are some signs.

Do you have an excuse? Do you repeat it in your head?

Instead: When you’ve finished something, you should be able to say, “I did everything I could.” Not, “if only I had or hadn’t…”

2. Do you find yourself worrying you might do something wrong in advance? “I better not forget to take breath there or I won’t have enough air to hold the note.”

Instead: Focus on the positive. Be your own coach. “I’ll take a breath there and finish strong.”

3. Do you compare yourself to someone else?

Remember: No one else is you. Focus on doing your best. It’s all you have control of.

4. Do you ignore or downplay your past achievements. “Yes, I have four and five star reviews, but I don’t have enough.”

Instead: Celebrate you achievements. Success kills fear, but only if you embrace it.
Are you a self-saboteur like me? Do you watch Idol? Do you have some examples or tips for the rest of us struggling with this problem? I’d love to hear from you!

What’s a Halfling?

Ahran, sans wings.
Ahran, sans wings.

Editing on my upcoming release, Halfling, is mostly done, I’m just waiting for my editor’s final thoughts. Now is when my brain turns to the trailer.

Problem. Since I usually write contemporary Paranormal Romance, a pretty close representation of my characters can easily be plucked from from the depths of a stock photo website.

But Halfling is a Young Adult Romantic Fantasy. It takes place in a setting with magic and swords (OK, it’s a sword and sorcery world, but I was trying not to say that).

Moreover, my hero has wings, and not feathery angel wings or exactly bat wings, either. (Though they come closer to bat) The tips of his wings are visible at all times behind his head. He also wears chain mail armor and wields a sword.

My heroine is seventeen, super thin due to near starvation, and has dark red hair that’s been hacked off.

These images are not easy to find and really I could only approximate or use a paint program to alter them.

Often, I have to compromise and get the best I can afford. (I usually have good luck with istockphoto, but their prices have gone up and a struggling writer, just can’t afford them anymore.)

Here’s what I’ve got so far. I’m not hugely happy with Ahran, he looks a bit older than I’d like, but the hood has a chain mail look, and Ahran is not exactly who he seems to be, so I think it works. The challenge will be adding those wings.

I am more satisfied with Deyna. I think this model more accurately shows her outward vulnerability and inner strength. Deyna’s journey is the main focus of the book, so I was really lucky to find this photo.

Deyna, after some manipulation in paint. Also sans wings, as yet.
Deyna, after some manipulation in paint. Also sans wings, as yet.

The blurb:
What would you forfeit to save your friends?

The crippled reject of a scorned people, seventeen year-old Valayan wanderer, Deyna has never eaten, owned, or used anything she didn’t scrounge or steal. She’s used to life at the bottom, but when her father sells her to be the annual Sacrifice to their enemies, the winged darklings, she discovers a new low.
Marked for death at the hands of the darkling king, only the discovery that she is half darkling saves her life.
As a servant in the darkling palace, Deyna thinks she’s landed on her feet. She has fresh, clean food, a real bed, and people, like young Lord Ahran, handsome captain of the king’s guard, who might actually care if she lives or dies, but all is not well in the darkling lands, a civil war is brewing and the gods have plans for her. Will she risk it all to do what’s right?

Final trailer coming soon!