Ideas, they come at inconvenient times

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lightbulb-ideaI get excited when a new story idea starts brewing. It crowds out all other thoughts and my hand starts to itch to write. Dialog will pop into my head along with character names and descriptions. My engine revs and the rest of me is in neutral, awaiting the green flag.

Sounds good, right? What writer doesn’t love getting new ideas?

Problem being, these typically come to me as I’m in the middle of another project, or worse, near the end of something when my brain should be focusing on getting other things done. It’s like my subconscious is against me finishing things.

No man, you don’t need to finish that silly little story you’ve spent months on. Let’s start something new! Something shinnnnnny. You know you want to!”

Man, my brain is a jerk sometimes.

But a good idea is a good idea, regardless of the time it decides to make an appearance. All you can do make notes or do a rough outline and hope you’ll be able to get into it when you actually have the time to do so.  Sometimes it works…and sometimes it doesn’t.  I like to tell myself those that don’t work would have sucked anyway.

What do you do when you get a new idea when you’re in the middle of another project?

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3 responses »

  1. I have a similar issue. I try to tell myself that I have to finish the other story first. So, what I do is write my story ideas on sticky notes and leave them all over the house, my husband loves that one :). Recently though I placed a notebook in my book bag so I can write the ideas in there. I have about seven story ideas that need to make it into this notebook. Sometimes I even write out a complete synopsis(or outline) with setting, characters, symbols, themes, etc.

  2. I used to have that happen all the time and there are so many early unfinished stories sitting on my hard drive as a result. Now, it’s not as bad. I think my muse decides to be nice and hold off on the shiny new idea until I have time to work on it.

  3. I usually allow myself a certain amount of time to give in to it, deviate, and write my idea. In most cases, I give myself 10-15 minutes to just write. Sit there and write out whatever is in my head for that new project. Once the 15 minutes is up or I’m out of steam (whichever comes first), I get back to my original project, knowing that my ideas are safely recorded and I can go back to them at any time and get back to that exciting place of having something new and shiny to work on.

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