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What to Do When You’ve Got Too Many Writing Projects

April 30, 2015

toomanyprojectsThe other day I was struck by a really great idea for a novel…

And part of me did a happy dance. I love it when inspiration strikes!

And the other part went: WHAT? ANOTHER ONE?!

Another creative project to add to my pile?

Right now, this is what I’m working on, creatively, in my ‘spare time’:

And now I want to add:

  • a ‘comedic dystopian’ novel (does that genre even exist? No matter.)

I was so enamoured of this new writing idea that I wrote 600 words on it in a flash. I promised myself I would ‘make time’ to work on my main writing project, which is Regency mystery novel #2.

But I didn’t.

I ran out of writing time.

Because that’s how it works in our current universe. I can’t bend time or double time up. There is only so much time available.

That means I must prioritize.

Which is difficult to do.

Especially if my main writing project feels like it has hit a ‘plot hole’ and is at that point where the going is a little bit rough and…wow, look at that shiny, new idea! I’m going to chase after it! Woof! Woof!

It can be hard to keep focused.

On the other hand, I really like my new idea and the characters within are clamouring to be heard…the writing is more or less writing itself, ready to pour onto the page…it would be criminal to stuff that particular genie back in the bottle…wouldn’t it?

So this is the compromise I came up with:

  • non negotiable: I work on my main project, Regency mystery novel #2, daily
  • if there is time left over, I can play in my creative sandbox
  • go back to carrying around my writer’s notebook. (When the clamouring starts, pour it in there, as soon as there is a moment to be had).

In years past, I used to lock myself in the washroom. (Always a good strategy. No matter where you are, one is surely available. And no one bugs you in there.)

I’ve also written in my car.

I’ve also written on my phone and emailed myself.

I realize now that I have to go back to redefining ‘writing time’, which has come to mean ‘scheduled quiet time at the computer’ but really needs to become more flexible and intermittent. Perhaps I should call them: writing flashes. 

It’s not ideal. But it’s the only way I can think of right now to balance things out, and water my entire, creative garden so that all my projects get a little bit of love.

Also, I must remember: I’d rather have too many ideas than too little. (Because creative droughts suck!)

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