Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Seductress, Thy Name is Inspiration

If there is one universal truth I've learned during my writing journey, it's that when the going gets tough, my thoughts start going. In other words, when I need to be concentrating, need to be working like a proverbial dog to finish one project, another one always floats to the forefront of my mind.

i.e. A bright and shiny book idea pops into my lil' noggin' and OH how I want to work on it!

I've found myself in this situation so many times over the years. I've tried various approaches of dealing with it.

1. I'll run with the new idea. Eventually, I always figured, it'll burn out. And yeah, it usually did. I've dropped projects to work on something new -- will churn out a HUGE chunk of said idea in a very short period of time, and then my energy will...fizzle. That's the best way to put it. Granted, this leaves me with a huge chunk of book that's just laying in wait for my attention to return. My computer is riddled with literary roadkill of this sort. Books and ideas that I absolutely love but can't seem to find the time to return to. Sigh.

2. I'll squash the idea. Nope, I don't have time...so bugger it. Yeah, this is my least favorite option. For one, it bothers me to no end to not explore what might come out of a midnight epiphany.... it could be something GREAT, something GENIUS. What if it's _the one_? Yeah...to write is to dream. (g) But I love taking a thread of an idea and running with it to see where it gets me. It's scary and exciting and humbling, all at the same time.

3. I'll journal about it as extensively as I can so I can come back to it later. I've tried this out, and yanno what? I've never once come back to a project in this manner so I can't say it actually works. But then, I can't say it doesn't either. LOL. Someday I'll have to experiment. (g)

4. I do nothing. I let the idea pass into the etheral space between my ears and carry on. I've found that the really powerful ideas always stick. I started a book a while ago called The Braeden, based on a dream I had a LOOOOOOONG time ago. Long before I decided to take pen to paper, let me tell you. For whatever reason, one particular part of my dream really stuck with me through the years and every now and then it would float to the surface. In full technicolor, so to speak. I could FEEL the story...see it play out in my head. And when I couldn't ignore it any longer, I sat down and pounded out a huge chunk of it in a week's time. It got the story out of my system for the time being, but it's still there...waiting. (g) I DO intend to get back to that one -- I LURVE it. :)

Anyway -- The reason I'm pontificating on this point is that I find myself ONCE AGAIN having this problem. I've officially declared this FI time, but find myself being tempted by a new bright and shiny idea. Oh, the possibilities of it. But no, I will not cave... I WILL NOT. Must work on FI.

Hint: It has to do with witches of all things. I know NOTHING about witchcraft, but not knowing about a subject has certainly never stopped me before. (g)

No no no... I will IGNORE you, bright and shiny idea.


Thank you for humoring me in this post. (g)

Does anyone else have this problem? What do you do to cope?


  1. Um, I think I generally go with the new shiny idea :D Maybe it means you need a break from what you were doing before, and once you've fizzled with the new idea (or written an entire novel from it :D) you can get back to what you are SUPPOSED to be working on. LOL. Then again I don't really have any deadlines except the self-imposed kind, so this is easy for me to say.

  2. I envy you and all your shiny new ideas. I have just the one story, dogging me, hounding me, to tell it. :) Either I'm really unimaginative, or there's no room in my head to share with another story...


  3. Eee, Jen, I know how you feel! I've had [counts on fingers] at least four new ideas come to me since I started Rosa's story. At least when I had another idea while writing Austin's story, it was for a short story, so I went ahead and wrote it. This time, all the new ideas have been for novels, and it's killing me! If only this was my full time job and I could justify spending extra hours on other stories... As it is... I need more hours in the day!

    But yea - Faking It!!! We wanna see that first [bg] Though witches, hmm...

  4. Trisha et al,

    So yeah, I ended up pushing the idea to the back burner in lieu of getting back to FI. I feel good about the decision, as yanno, I actually have people waiting for FI. (g) But that doesn't mean new ideas won't boil up again...they always do. (g)


  5. Susan -

    I actually envy your all consuming passion. I WISH I could keep my head in one game and see it through to the end. It's all a form of procrastination, of course -- funny how new ideas spring up just when I REALLY need to be doing something else. The best/strongest ideas always hit me right around finals time in law school. Funny, that. (g)