Thursday, October 1

So many ideas, so little time...

Don't you hate that? Those nasty new ideas that come rushing in and try to take over the perfectly good ones you're already working on? They're new, shiny, and want to be played with. They beckon like a sea siren, "Come with me, swim with me, love me..."

And it takes all of your will to resist them. "No, I have this novel I'm working on, I'm half way through it..."

"Yes, but does it have fins? I have fins. Don't you want to touch my fins?" asks the siren muse.

You do. You totally do. You can't help it. They glisten in the sunlight like trophies from Heaven. But, at what cost? A day's work? A week's work? A month's work? Pretty soon you're falling behind and the old novel, well, it gets older. And the new idea, well, the light's fading and it doesn't look so promising any more, does it?

And wait, what's that you hear? Gasp. A new idea. This one is all sparkly, snarky, and sexy. How can you resist these new words that pop into your head, the voices that speak louder than the old ones, the scenes that play before your eyes like an academy reel?

How indeed? If I knew the answer, I might have finished my book by for you mages of wisdom out there, how do you resist the siren's call or don't you? I'd love to hear...because otherwise I might have to answer the voices that beckon me.


  1. I'm not a great one to ask - because I always have two or three WIPs - but I'll tell you how I deal...because even with 2-3 going, those shiny new ideas still reach up and grab me.

    First, I work on WIPs that are in different places - only 1 fist draft, only one in revisions, that sort of thing. This works for me because it helps me keep things fresh. I think it's from the years as a reporter - I was constantly writing three or four stories for the nightly news cast all at the same time.

    Second, if I have 2 going and a shiny new idea pops up, I give it 30 minutes. I puke out as much of that 1st scene or character idea or backstory as I goes into a 'future' folder and I shut it off. If something else comes to me, I'll update that folder but I never give it more than 30 minutes...I've found that is enough time to get the idea out but not enough to get really, truly interested in it.

  2. This is so timely!
    I have been fighting this demon for all I'm worth lately! As you know, Shot has begged, literally begged to be forgotten in favor of a new ms I call the Border Patrol story. But I have resisted the siren's naughty call, and hung tuff.
    But, oh how that sweet song has called my name.