Juggling Ideas


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I  currently have two completed manuscripts in first draft form. They are books in a series, the first of which took me several months (by several, I mean many) to complete. The second was the book I wrote for NaNoWriMo this past November and December. A third book to follow these is in the works, but hasn’t been drafted yet.

In late January an idea for a new book (and subsequent series) woke me out of a deep sleep and demanded to be outlined. For the better part of a week I put pencil to paper trying to make this story work. When I was done with that, I couldn’t put it aside. So I started writing the first draft of this book. It is my current WIP.

That left the other two books I drafted sitting alone on a shelf. To make matters worse, ANOTHER story idea has found its way into my mind. I feel like a juggler…and trust me; this is not how I normally work.

juggling-ideasI know, in my heart, that I need to focus on just one story/series: draft it, draft it again, edit it, edit it again, share it with compatriots and continue editing until there is no question it’s the best it can be.

What I would love to hear from my fellow writers is how you pay attention to the task at hand and not let those new ideas distract you from getting the writing done. I hope I’m not the only one with this sort of problem.



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Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

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13 thoughts on “Juggling Ideas

  1. If you figure this one out, do me a favor and let me know. I suffer from major writer’s procrastination and if a new idea hits, I will start on it and shove the other one to the side. I have 4 different story ideas hanging around in the balance and I really need to finish them.

    • Oh. So there’s a name to this phenomenon: Writer’s Procrastination. Eek. I thought I was staying busy, but I think you’re right. I’m putting off the hard part (sigh). I will buckle down to the task at hand.

      And, if I figure it all out I’ll be sure to let you know.

  2. You’ve been busy! I have this problem big time too. I’m trying to get a bit organized and focused and on good days, you succeed, but some days you just gotta let the crazy writer with ADHD loose. I hope you figure out what works for you. Good luck!

  3. You’re definitely not alone. I’m currently wrapping up my first book and prepping for my second – which also happens to be planned as a series. Then, BAM, another idea sprouted out of a walk last week. A bright, shiny new idea too. Dang thing plopped down in the middle of my already busy psyche and started laying out character points and plot ideas. The nerve. All I can do now is jot down the bits that arrived so ungraciously and then hope they keep while I write the first of my series.

    If you figure out the secret to getting ideas to show up at convenient times, will you let me know? Great IWSG post! 🙂

  4. Hi, I’m the last one who should give advice. I let my ideas pile up for years and tried to stick them all in one book when my youngest son was hit by a truck in middle school. It was a hit and run, illegal aliens, and the witness disappeared. I decided they must be illegal aliens from another Earth, mixed in the four elements, a sentient planet, and lots of other things. But my book threw all those ideas back at me. Or beta readers did. So I made two series, started one, shelved it to work on the other, and got halfway through book one’s rewrite (booted a character into the other series) before another writer asked me to edit her book. Word got around, and I think I’ve rewritten two chapters since. I can’t resist reading and fixing other people’s writing. Is it more procrastination of writing or more preference for reading? I don’t know. After all, reading was my first love. But now I’m dreaming of my own books again, and something has to give. All I can tell you for sure is to record those ideas before they get away. Maybe they’ll behave if you give each a different day of the week to come out and play?

    • I like that idea of spreading them out on the different days of the week…but I’m sure my brain will rupture if I try. HA! As for writing down the ideas, I keep a spiral notebook by my bed to jot down any far out there dream that wakes me in the middle of the night. So far, all my books have stemmed from these subconscious bits of wonder. Thanks for stopping by and for letting me know we are struggling with the juggling.

  5. You are definitely not alone in having more ideas than you can write at one time. I get very scattered at times and get nothing done. I keep a notebook or file folder for each of my ideas and force myself to jot down ideas for scenes and characters and go back to my main WIP. It gets the ideas out of my head and allows me to concentrate – at least a little bit.

    • I think the key word here is ‘force.’ I have to force myself to stay focused on one story until it is finished. Otherwise I’ll never be done with any of them.

  6. I find it funny how different writers can be. I like doing what you’re describing. It helps when I revise, not needing months between rounds. Anyway, if you continue this way I commend revising a chapter or two a day. I think you might Iike the results.

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

    • Thanks Anna,
      I’m impressed that you can keep several stories going at a time. My mind gets so wrapped around the “one I’m with,” I forget about all the rest. HA!

      Thanks for visiting.

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