*cue screaming* ONE MONTH TILL SCHOOL STARTS! HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?!
Back to the topic. We’ve all been there, I’m there right now, and you very well could be too. There’s almost always a story nagging in the back of your mind, begging to be written, even when you’re over your head in edits for your current book.
And I mean, who wouldn’t be tempted? Writers have an incurable thirst for new, exciting stories. That’s what makes us writers – the ability to see a story in almost anything. But what also makes you a writer is having the discipline to put aside new ideas, no matter how tempting they are, when they don’t fit into your schedule. Like, in the middle of NaNoWriMo. 🙂
That said, there is definitely a time and a place for those kinds of ideas. Just don’t get too excited yet.
WHEN NOT TO USE NEW STORY IDEAS
When you know – you know, no matter how much it hurts – that your current project takes precedent. Even when it doesn’t feel that way. And believe me, when you’ve got writers’ block, or when you’re halfway through that second draft, chances are pretty good you’re not going to feel too inspired by the excellent work of fiction you’re creating. 🙂
Then, middle of the night, BOOM! Inspiration strikes! *cue the firing of a cannon and cheering* But . . . what about this book?
That said, there are also times when that new idea may be exactly what you need.
WHEN TO EMBRACE NEW STORY IDEAS
Okay, so, yes, there are instances where your current WIP needs to be put aside, and you need to work on something else for a while. I can’t give you a neat and organized definition of what that looks like, because it just depends. I’ve had to set aside projects many times and come back later. You’ll need to decide that yourself.
But that’s always a little freeing, when you can take a brand new story that’s been nagging at the back of your mind and bring it to life.
Reasons I’ve had to set aside projects
- There inspiration just wasn’t there. I mean, the well was completely dry. It wasn’t a case of writers’ block. I simply had nothing left to give to that story.
- The first draft was done, and I felt it would be best to wait a while on the rewrite.
- A project was “done”, and off to be edited. So I had to go write something else.
There are other reasons for other writers, I’m sure. But the decision to set aside a book needs to be made carefully, with discipline, not emotion. (Yeah, because we writers are all emotionless Borg drones.) Sorry, that was a Star Trek reference if you didn’t understand it. Suffice it to say, emotion often gets in the way of really writing, and it takes a lot of practice and patience to overcome that.
But then again (and here’s your philosophy for the day), emotions can get in the way of writing, but without them, no one would write the kind of fiction we love. Just remember that the next time you have that story you can’t write sitting so pretty in the back of your mind.
And . . . there you go! Oh, and did I tell you there’s just one month till school starts?
Let’s chat. Have you ever had to set aside a project and embrace a new one? Do you often have cool new book ideas in your mind? Let’s hang out in the comments!