If you read my last post (http://cheshire.patch.com/blog_posts/something-i-was-reminded-of-this-christmas), then you’ll know that I am working on several writing projects right now. It’s very exciting, to have a decent flow of ideas that I’m interested in putting to paper, but I’ve noticed that I tend to skip from project to project, oftentimes because I have come to a point where I’m not sure what to write next, leaving the previous one behind in favor of this cool new inspiration I’ve had. It’s not really a problem yet, because my new ideas haven’t been that numerous, but I fear sometimes that I will never get anything done like this. I still have this concern as I’m writing this post, as I have two short stories I’m writing and I have abandoned one for the other. However, I have recently concluded three things that have soothed my concern.
The first two things are closely related, in my opinion, so I will list them together. One is that as an aspiring author, I need to be able to write regularly. Only by doing that will my writing be able to develop and grow. Second, any writer will find themselves blocked occasionally with a particular story they’re working on. When you do, it’s useless to just keep banging your head against it. It can be more helpful to take a break at that point, something that will allow you to look at your work with fresh eyes afterward. You can go for a walk or read a book. Or perhaps you can try writing something else for a bit. This last option allows for both a break from the current story and the ability to keep exercising the necessary creativity, fulfilling the previously stated need to write regularly.
The last conclusion I made was that I did have a legitimate concern. Writing is all about making the commitment to do the work and I could not do that if I kept skipping from one thing to another. However, I have also decided that I don’t necessarily need to stop starting new things. I only need to make sure that I pay enough attention to both, not simply leaving one behind for a week or more like I have been doing. If I can make a commitment, say, to work at one for two days before going back to the other one, then I will not simply be skipping from one to the next but managing two projects I place equal importance on, making the necessary commitment of a writer to his work.
One more thing I should probably note. This is also the key to accomplishing anything in life, of course, and I do not believe my problem of skipping from one thing to another is limited to writing. It could easily be applied to other people and their goals. If you are trying to do something and you find you keep skipping to something else you want/need to do, I would encourage you to try and not make them mutually exclusive. Don’t abandon one for the other. Keep up with them both. This gets trickier the more projects you want to do, but I believe if you make time to do each thing you want early on, then you will be able to manage.