Thought-Provoking Thursdays: On Having Too Many Ideas At Once

I was sitting down the other day having a talk with my blog.

I said, “Blog, I see a void in your life.”

He seemed a little confused. He was all like, “What do ya even mean, I have a void? All my credit cards are legit.” The thing is, my blog doesn’t even have credit cards. He’s always been a little less than honest with me, likes to cleverly change the subject on me. And, oh yeah that’s right, he’s a blog.

That’s when I came right out with it. I was like, “You only have, like, a post or so every month during NaNo time or whenever something noteworthy happens in my writing life. WE. NEED. MORE. FROM. YOU.”

He sort of went into denial. I staged an intervention, and things did not go pretty. I believe some tables got flipped and a left Converse sneaker flew across the room in the direction of the TV set. But the point is, I’m installing a new segment on this here blog, and it shall be dubbed Thought-Provoking Thursdays. I’ll talk about stuff, themed stuff, stuff that I’m currently experiencing in my writing life or other, and we’ll just see if it resonates with you. It may. I don’t take orders from my blog anymore. You hear any shots, they’ll be coming from ME.

Too Many Ideas At Once.jpg

Right now, I’m kind of losing it. Those of you who are writers will probably understand this struggle, but others… Hmm, I’m not so sure. If you asked me to explain what it’s like to feel inspired to work on multiple projects at once… Honestly, not that I have any experience being a *literal* parent, but it seems pretty close to being a mom with three kids and only one cookie.

How do you split yourself among all these different projects? I mean, here I am in the middle of everything. There’s 1) A story that’s on its last round of edits that I’m hoping to have self-published by the end of the year, and then there’s 2) the one I wrote in NaNo 2015 that I’m JUST NOW doing a second draft on. No really, I’ve been doing longhand edits for months. Here’s some examples of the battle scars (warning: it’s not pretty):

And then there’s 3) The story I wrote this past NaNo, that I let cool off but am now attempting to do a round of longhand edits on that too. Then 4) A story that I’ve been trying to actually freaking finish since April 2016, because my poor MC Ginger is starting to get PO’ed at me. Not to mention the avalanche-crap-towah of other stories that I get randomly inspired with ideas for from the outside world. Like, really, I’ll be walking around minding my business and get smacked in the neck with an idea for a story I haven’t thought about in MONTHS. How’s a person supposed to live? How am I supposed to get any actual work done with all these plot bunnies chasing me down with torches and pitchforks?

It’s a struggle. I’ve resigned myself to focus on the stories that are closest to publication, at the very least the ones that are finished in need of editing. Something I’m slowly learning is that in a writer’s life, there are seasons for editing and seasons to make new stuff. It’s very hard to overlap them. Maybe that’s truth, or maybe I’m just starting to lose my sanity and ability to function effectively—being out of work does strange things to a person.

But, y’know? There are perks to working on multiple projects at once. If you get to a point with one story where you want to use every single page of it to start a bonfire in hell, you just move on to the next one. And if that one keeps you up until one in the morning banging your head on the desk murmuring “I should’ve finished college. I should’ve taken that job at Dunkin Donuts,” then just keep movin’ on. Yeah, you can’t move on forever, but it’s good to have an escape hatch. That way, even when you fail you still win, because at least you’re still productive.

So, what do you think? Even if you’re not a writer, do you ever work on multiple projects at once? Maybe it worked out well for ya. Or maybe, not so much. Comment like the wind!

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