Hello Friends and Welcome.
Today I wanted to discuss one of the struggles that many authors deal with, which is staying faithful to your current work when new stories enter your consciousness. It’s often hard, especially in the midst of a tough round of revisions or what feels like an endless cycle of edits to stay faithful to your current project.
New ideas have promise, right? When you get a shiny new idea it’s hard to not toss your current manuscript to the side in favor of the promise of a blank page and the hope that maybe this new story will be The One. I know that when I’m slogging through the first round of revisions, the temptation to forget about the current project and move onto a new one is especially strong.
However, I also know that if I keep pushing through revisions that I will eventually end up with a better story and that the next round will involve my story being at least a little bit better. If I’m passionate about the story I’m telling and feel that it is worth sharing, then I better keep working in order to get it completed and out into the world.
That is not to say that I have never shelved a story. Some stories you write for the fun of it and realize that you may not want to dedicate at least the next year of your life to working on improving it. Or maybe you do want to work to get it ready for publication, but that the project may need to sit for a longer time while you focus on other things. I’ve mentioned before that I publish fantasy novels under a different name. I have a fantasy epic that I’ve been working on since around 2007 that I decided to set the current book to the side for this year because I wanted a bit of a break from working on it. I may pick it back up later this year, however I have decided to not put that expectation on myself.
So what do I do when I’m in the middle of revising and a brand new story pops into my head? I get out a blank piece of paper or open a blank Word document on my computer and start to just brain dump anything that’s come to mind about the potential story. And then I go back to the current project.
If there is a scene that just won’t let go, I will actually write that scene just to get it out of my head. This is actually how Autumn Sunrise came into being – I was working on another project and the idea would not let go. I was in a creative writing class and so every morning when I would do twenty minutes of free writing I would write out scenes that came to mind for this story. Many of the scenes did end up in the outline – however I never referred to the actual writing I did during the time I was drafting.
Now, with Autumn Sunrise in revisions and Serial News about to start the drafting phase, I have been obsessed with a brand new shiny idea that I’m really excited about. So I’m following my prior process – I keep my focus on Autumn Sunrise and if the new shiny idea keeps popping up I jot down whatever ideas I have and go back to revising Autumn Sunrise.
That’s it for today. How do you deal with balancing new shiny ideas while working on your current project? Let me know!