The only thing I had to do was about two weeks’ worth of laundry (yeah, I’d sort of let it stock pile). Anyway, I was elated at the idea of having a few hours to work on my manuscript, aiming to add at least a thousand words.
|Which path shall I take?
Alright, so here’s the thing: I’ve got so many story ideas locked up inside my brain that it’s hard to concentrate on just one at a time. Some of the ideas have been floating around in my brain since I was a preteen, so many are pretty well developed – plot wise – and most feel like they’re all but written, pun intended.
On Twitter recently, Patrick Satters (@Patrick_Satters) expressed an interest in having another author or ghost writer work with him to write his many story ideas. I had tweeted back, saying that I could understand where he was coming from.
The fact of the matter is that writing a full-length novel takes time. And if you have a lot of story ideas, like Patrick and myself, well, then your hands are likely too slow to write it all down. So many stories, so little time.
I used to have a lot of trouble with writing just one story at a time. It was like I’d developed a form of ADD that prohibited me from writing one story all the way to the end before another idea popped up and consumed my interest.
For some random, unknown reason the other day, I reverted to that state of mind and could not keep my mind on my Silent Destruction WiP (Work in Progress).
So instead of knocking out that next chapter on Silent Destruction as I had intended, I opened a new Word document and wrote a rather good opening sequence to another story that’s been with me since the beginning.
Now I’m wondering what I should do.
It’s not like I’m bored with the Silent Destruction WiP or anything. I’m still making progress. But now I’ve got this other story fighting for my attention, especially since that opening scene came out so good.
I’m torn. I want to keep working on Silent Destruction, keep making progress and get closer to being done. But then, the “other” is so tempting because the ideas are flowing into my brain!
What’s an aspiring novelist to do?
Later I got to thinking of the quote by Earnest Hemingway when he said, “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know.”
In light of my predicament, this quote suddenly seemed to be saying: Write what’s on your mind. Never shut off the flow of words. Doesn’t matter what’s being written. When you’re in the creation mode that’s what you do; create.
Random inspiration doesn’t strike me very often, and I remember a time not that long ago when there were no words that would come to me – no words of any sort. I am scared of going back to that point.
So, that’s how I justified spending three hours writing another story rather than working on my current WiP. I saved the file and stored it away, knowing that it’ll give me a good start later on, when I am ready to give it my full attention.
So, fellow writers, I’m wondering what you do in this type of situation? Do you write whatever comes to mind as it comes to mind, or do you force yourself to stick on one project and see it through until completion?