Man, I don’t know what it is. All I have to do is decide, “I’m working on Thing X!,” and I will without fail come up with ideas for Thing Y instead.
In the current instance, that means I decided I would try to finish “The Unquiet Grave” by the end of the month, and promptly put down 1,022 words on “Mad Maudlin” instead. Not really complaining — I don’t care which short story I make progress on, so long as it’s one of them — but I really wish I could find a way to leverage this for novels. As I said on matociquala‘s LJ the other day, it seems to me like there should be a way to do it. Contract for Book A, write Book B instead; then contract for Book C, somehow convince yourself you’re working on that one for realz, whereupon you write Book A. Or something. But I fear deadlines might make that tough to wrangle.
Time to go think about “The Unquiet Grave” some more, in the hopes of finishing “Mad Maudlin” in the near future.