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!