Monday, 28 July 2014

Get your inky paws off me, you damn dirty writer!

That's what the logical, rational side of my brain told the creative side last week. See, I have a problem. A major problem. I have more story ideas than I know what to do with, and my creative brain keeps throwing them at the part of my brain which should make the logical decisions about what to write. Why's that a problem? Lots of ideas are great for a writer.

You may have noticed that I haven't actually published a book yet. A couple of short-story collections, yes. A novel or novella? No. That's because I can't make my damn mind up. All those shiny ideas want to be written. I decide on one project and then wake up in a cold sweat worrying other the others. Will that idea be better? Does it stand more of a chance of being published? That one's a stupid idea. It will never work. Write the new one.

You get the idea.

I am writing. A little bit of everything at the moment. I actually don't mind writing that way. As one writer friend pointed out, I'll have lots of books ready at the same time. But that's crazy, isn't it? Shouldn't I be concentrating on just one or two projects at the same time? If I continue to have more ideas, won't I just start more projects? Ever heard of a writer balancing ten WIPs in one go? No. Me neither. At least, not a sane writer.

So, I need your advice. What should I do? Continue to work on all of them? Schedule certain days/weeks for each project or choose one or two and get them done?


Ninja Alex and Beaker say, "Help save the damn dirty writer!".

28 comments:

  1. You're probably good at juggling several things at once, so go for it if you can keep up the momentum.

    That's too much stress for me. LOL. I'm a one project at a time person.

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    1. The problem is I'm not doing a good job of juggling them. I'm working on a plan, though. Divide and conquer.

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  2. I have trouble juggling two projects. Hope you find the right answer for you. We all work in different ways.

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    1. Thanks, Susan. I'm working on a plan. Hopefully, I'll have something to share next Monday.

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  3. My brain is doing the same thing. I figure it's better with write a little of everything rather than nothing 'cause I'm busy deciding.

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  4. I would just keep doing what you're doing, if it's making you happy - don't worry about what others think you "should" do.

    I think it's more important to keep working on "something" than to work on one thing, get burned out on it, and feel like you never want to revisit it again. I'm not sure if that would happen to you though. :)

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    1. Thank you for the great advice, Trisha. I'm working on a plan that will mean I won't get burned out, but will mean I do start completing projects.

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  5. I don't think there's any "should" - the question is do you see it as a problem having all these things on the go at once?

    If you're happy doing what you're doing, then keep doing it. If you feel it's getting in the way of finishing something in a reasonable time, then find a way to focus on something and see it through.

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    1. Thank you for the advice, Botanist. While I am happy working on multiple projects, I'm not actually finishing any projects. So, I'm working on a way that means I can do both.

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  6. I don't usually write more than one draft at a time, but I do project-juggle a lot! NaNoWriMo or something similar might be a good idea if you really want to finish one novel.

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    1. Thanks for the awesome advice, Emma. I have done NaNoWriMo a couple of times, but I find I get fed up with whatever I'm writing. Maybe it's the pressure? I've got two weeks off work this November. I'm considering doing NaNo, but splitting it between two projects.

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  7. Dig your Ninja!
    If writing many stories at once works for you, don't stop. Having a lot of books to release is a good thing.

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    1. Thought you might like the Ninja ;)

      Thanks for your thoughts on my dilemma!

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  8. What you "should" do is what works for you.

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    1. I agree, though I need to actually make it work. I'm working on a plan to do just that. Hopefully, I'll be sharing it next Monday.

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  9. It's a;; about finding your comfort zone. I personally had a time where I balanced working two to three projects at one time. It is possible to do if you can make a schedule that works for you.

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    1. Thanks for the awesome advice, Angela. I'm glad you found a way to make it work for you. All I need now is a plan!

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  10. As one writer friend pointed out, I'll have lots of books ready at the same time. <-- That is exactly what I was thinking as I was reading this post! I know it's going to take you much longer to get there if you're working on many projects at the same time, but it will be AWESOME once to publish a novel every, say, three months, because you'll have them all lined up and ready to go. You won't have that problem where readers read book one, LOVE it, and then have wait a year for the next one, during which time they may possibly forget about you.
    If you really feel you've got too many going on at the same time, maybe pick four of your favourites and focus on getting those finished before going back to the others.

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    1. Thank you for looking at my dilemma in a positive light, Rachel. Like you say, I need to focus on specific projects. I think I have a solution, which I hope to share next week.

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  11. Do whatever one compels you the most. Or try to do a meditation and see which book idea comes up. I have a student who has written 3/4 of about ten novels. He has finish-itis. Don't know if that's your exact issue, but I think he has a terrible fear of failure/success, which paralyzes him. My advice to him? Finish ONE novel! Instead, he and his lover had twins...

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    1. Twins?! I'm guessing he still hasn't finished any of his novels.

      Maybe I am afraid of failure? I keep asking myself what will I do if my considerable investment in time and money doesn't sell? How many times can I do that before it's too many times? Then again, look at Hugh Howey. He published several books before Wool.

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  12. I know what you mean! I have story ideas coming from all over. But I've never been good at multi-tasking. I can only work on one at a time. My vote goes for picking a few that really are compelling you and make a schedule.

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  13. Maybe you should write a precis of them all and then pick one that makes you the most excited and concentrate on that. That way you will not forget the ideas and you can add to their precis if you suddenly get inspiration whilst working on the main one.

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  14. Not removed anything rude, Somehow my comment got duplicated

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