Becoming a Writer

Becoming a Writer – Choosing a Project

You have 1,000 different ideas floating around in your mind, each begging to be realized.  So which one do you decide to make your next (or first) story?

[I used the term story instead of project, book, flash fiction, article, etc. to avoid the expectations and social responsibility that comes with each of those terms.  Stories have few expectations, after all we all tell stories every single day; recounting our day for partners and friends, that excuse you told your boss the last time you called in sick, or the stories you make up to describe the shapes you see in the clouds.  I like the term story because there are no threats and no obligations to go with it]

This is one of the rare occasions that I am going to say there is a right answer.  Those of you who know me well already know what I am going to say…  Typically, I am of the mindset that there is no right or wrong way to your writing journey (after all it is your journey).  But this is one time where I believe there is a “right” answer.  So which idea should be come your next project?

Which ever one makes your heart sing.  Basically,  choose the idea that you look forward working on the project.  How do you choose that idea out of the thousands?  You experiment of course!  I like to treat writing like buying a new pair of shoes.  I try several pairs on, walk a few feet in them, but ultimately purchase the most comfortable ones.  To translate back into writing, I like to sample ideas.  I’ll write a few lines, paragraphs, or pages of an idea just to try it out.  If I get stuck towards the beginning, I move on to the next idea.

There is nothing wrong with have several started stories.  Throw out social expectation of having a completed story.  Write what you want, when you want.  I like to jump from project to project.  Does it take me a while to write a full length book?  Sure it does, possibly longer than its socially acceptable.  But you know what?  I like my stories when I’m done.  I credit that to not slogging through a story just for the sake of getting it written.  If you don’t like the end results or find it boring to write, guess what… your readers will more than likely feel the same way.

And what if you don’t have 1,000 ideas, but just one idea.  Start writing it.  If it doesn’t speak to you and make you look forward to working on it, maybe you need a break or even better a new idea will start tugging at the edges of your subconscious.

You could also be in the same situation as I am.  Your readers expect the  sequel to your last book, but the story is just not working for you right now.  That’s okay.  Work on the project that makes you enjoy the process [hence, why I started writing this blog series].  Drop your fears, take a chance, and remember there are no rules!  Write what you find fulfilling, satisfying and what makes you want to write.

Happy writing everyone!

 

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5 thoughts on “Becoming a Writer – Choosing a Project”

  1. Yeah, I’m hanging out for your sequel, Amanda! But I’m enjoying this blog series as well.

    And actually, I’m doing the same as you (who’da known?). I flagged book two in my series for a new project that I can’t wait to wake up and work on. The sequel will happen when it’s ready to, and it will be the right time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No worries Zee! I hasn’t been placed too far on the back burner. I have actually had a few scenes pop up that I would like to include in the book, so it’s starting to make its way back into the forefront of my mind.

      I have also started thinking about how to work the other photo project… who would think a 50-80 page book would be so difficult to write! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I struggle with this issue a lot. Sometimes, I have a slew of ideas; sometimes, I have none. It’s frustrating for me when I abandon a story just because it doesn’t interest me anymore. I think some of it is self-sabotage because I broadcast it over the Internet, and when it comes time to deliver, I fail and have to retract that statement. (This happened to me recently.)

    As much as I hate the idea of abandoning a story, I understand why it’s necessary. I have a few stories that I felt just didn’t cut it. So, I left them for something else. It’s like you said: you try on shoes to find the most comfortable. So that’s what I’m trying to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If those sample projects were meant to happen then ideas for them will come back to the surface.

      There is a fine line though, between writing what you enjoy and letting fear convince you to give up on an idea. It will take some practice to be able to tell the difference.

      Like

  3. I have a few starters, even have one that has almost a completed first draft. That last one I’m saving until I don’t feel guilty about the protagonist being a widow. [Don’t get me started on why I have this guilt ’cause it’s enough for two posts.]

    I feel passionate about the one I’m working on. Still, even as I do the preliminary stuff, my characters’ personalities are changing, which, undoubtedly, will change the story. This hasn’t happened to me before so I’m hoping this is a good development and is not going to do me in.

    Do things like this happen to you?

    Liked by 1 person

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