The problem most people have with any self-regulated project is not knowing what they want to have happen in the end.
Knowing the ending is the crux of being able to complete your project. Any project.
For example, when I wrote Ring of the Tax Collector, I knew the ending before I ever typed the first paragraph. I didn’t know *who* the ending would happen to, but I definitely knew *what* was going to happen. As I was writing, I was looking for the character who would be in the ending. Every chapter was about a different character, so I had an assortment to choose from, but I wanted the right character. Not the convenient character. Not just any old character. And certainly not the obvious character. I was actually surprised with the character I chose. I hope the reader was just as surprised. Nonetheless, I knew where I was going before I ever started.
Working out is the same way. I’ve always been athletic, but I allowed myself to get out-of-shape and add on pounds as I got older. Oh, I didn’t *look* like I was out-of-shape, thanks to genetics, but I was. I didn’t *look* like I was overweight, but I was, most of which had gravitated to my stomach. When I started seriously working out, my goal was to get rid of the beer belly. (I don’t even drink beer, to add insult to injury). No matter what anyone tells you, you cannot target a specific area to lose weight. My workout was, and is, full-body. I have dropped significant poundage, picked up some muscle, and (mostly) erased my beer belly (I’m still a little thicker there than I’d like, but I’m a work in progress). It took a long time. Maintenance is just as much work as the weight loss part was. Still, I knew what I wanted before I ever set foot in a gym, and I was realistic about getting there. It's a marathon, not a sprint.
In both instances, I had a project, I knew what end I wanted, and I worked to get there. I have known others who have stalled out somewhere along the way because they didn’t have the end in mind.
I have a good friend who has written exactly one chapter of a romance novel. The romance genre is not my thing, but her work is good. Exceptionally good. She hasn’t written anything further in a year. She tells me the first chapter practically wrote itself. I tell her that she has to figure out what she wants to have happen and work from there. I hope she takes my advice. I would really like to know what happens to the characters in her book.
No matter what your project is – to be successful, you have to know what happens in the end. You can adapt and morph as you go, and tweak the ending if you want to or need to, but you won’t get anywhere if you don’t know how you want things to look in the end.
Good luck! Go forth and write!