Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Idea Overload

I feel I need to acknowledge and address one of the biggest problems I have as a writer.  And before I say what that problem is, I should point out that it wouldn’t be a problem at all if only I knew how to manage it properly. 

The issue is this: I have too many story ideas.

My main obstacle is that I have new story ideas brewing in my mind while I’m still working on another project, and soon that new idea is pushing the story-in-progress to the side.  I can’t let that happen.  I promise myself that I will take notes when new ideas come, and I will allow those ideas to blossom, but I need to continue to work on the task at hand while all this is happening.  This obstacle is better than having no new ideas at all, but allowing myself to lose focus ultimately hinders my progress.

That same issue rears its head when I write short stories that end up growing until they become novels.  I keep thinking of new plot threads, new conflicts, that would fit into the framework of the story I’ve outlined, and soon the scope of the project is so large I have to admit that it’s no longer what I set out to create.

Perhaps that isn’t so bad.  Maybe I need to let the project become whatever it needs to be.  Or maybe I really do need to learn some self-restraint.  This is simply another question I must keep in mind and work through as I keep writing.

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