Sunday, January 9, 2011

Fifty Ideas Enter, One Idea Leaves

[Quick PSA - If you're looking for my AbsoluteWrite Musical Chairs Blog Chain Entry, I've been moved to the 2nd week - please stop by on 1/14 for my entry. Thanks!]

My name is (insert name here) and I'm a WIP-aholic.

I have, at any given time, one or two projects I must be working on. That should be enough. Two novels in various states of completion/edit should be enough for anybody with a separate, full-time job and a toddler (currently battling both a stomach virus and a cold).

But no. Anytime someone asks me what to do when a shiny new idea (SNI) comes knocking, I tell them to jot down the key notes and shove it into a file. Focus on the work at hand, finish that work at hand, then go back to that bustling folder and extract the shiniest of the shiny. Rinse. Repeat.

But, here's the thing: I'm a hypocrite. I disguise it by saying I can handle multiple projects, by saying that I compartmentalize well, giving SNI ten minutes to every hour spent on Project Obligation. How did I come to that ratio? I made it up. *shrug* I'm a writer. We do that sometimes. I'm also able to suspend disbelief in seconds flat, so once I've formed a thought, I've already absorbed my own Kool-Aid.

However sometimes reality, such as nonnegotiable deadlines, actual makes it through the fog to the rational part of my brain. And so, I'm closing down one SNI, wrapping it up and tucking it away to fight for a second life. And I'm ignoring another (it's just for a few weeks, darling, see you soon...maybe). And the 50+ that have already been relegated to fighting amongst each other (I see my "Ideas and Starts" file more like Thunderdome than a rest home) can roll their eyes at the optimistic new guys, give them the house rules, and then mutter "poor bastard" when they don't make it.

What do you do when the shiny new ideas fall like snow flurries?


  1. I'm rather like you on this account. I jot down the new idea and shove it in the Thunderdome, and if a week later I'm still obsessing over it rather than on my novel, then I consider it deserving of more attention. Otherwise, it'll have to wait.

  2. That's it exactly, Claudie. I do find some strange things in there at times, though. (I believe the stories cannibalize each other while I'm not paying attention.)