Monday, March 12, 2012

Shiny New Ideas Take 2

Lately I've been getting a lot of Shiny New Ideas coming through.  Thankfully I've got a book specifically devoted to that very thing, but that's not the point. The point is, I don't have time to be working on shiny new ideas.

I'm currently in the middle of planning (soon to be writing) one book, editing another book, and even have a few collaborations in the mix.  Shiny new ideas aren't going to be worked on until, at the very earliest, during the June session of camp nano (something that I wasn't actually planning on doing, but may end up participating in.  Still thinking about it.  I'll need to get a little bit closer to the date before I really know if I can or not.)

So why are they coming to me now?  Why not when I'm in the middle of my editing and welcome the distraction?  (Yeah, yeah, I know.  I shouldn't be welcoming a distraction when I'm editing.  I'm working on it, I swear.  I just...don't like editing...)

An answer was suggested to me yesterday: The reason Shiny New Ideas present themselves when I'm planning or writing is because I'm being creative.  Those gears are already turning while I'm trying to figure out the novel or write the scene, so those new ideas occur to me because I'm open to them already.

Unfortunately this means that, even for that quick second, I'm distracted by this new idea instead of concentrating on the book I need to pay attention to.  Distraction tends to mean that I'm pulled out of the world, and I can sometimes have a hard time getting back into it.  Focusing on the characters that I need to focus on, rather than the tantalizing story that the new voices bring with it.  (Yes, I'm aware how crazy that makes me sound.  You don't need to tell me.  I've come to accept my craziness as a part of who I am.)

If only there was some way to ignore these thoughts while I'm brainstorming, but still be able to remember them when I'm not and have time to get them down.  I wish it worked like that, unfortunately muses and characters seem to work on the same idea: When we start talking, you had better jump, or we're going to shut up for a good long time and leave you annoyed and frustrated.

For now, though, I suppose I'll just have to grin and bear it.  After all, I've been museless before and it just isn't any fun. (is there such a thing as an editing muse?  If so, can someone tell mine that she's/he's been seriously slacking?  They've used all of their vacation time, and they need to get back so I can actually get past the first draft of a book!  Thanks.)  For years I thought that I didn't have a muse at all, so now that she's talking to me, I find myself unwilling to risk angering her enough that she goes on vacation again.

I suppose I should stop ranting now, though.  After all, Shiny New Ideas, even untimely ones, are better than having no ideas at all, which I know that some writers have a problem with.  I just have to learn how to keep my attention focused on one thing for long enough to actually finish it.  At this point I keep starting series, then scrapping it before I even get to the second book, which means that so far my characters haven't gotten an ending.  I'm hoping The Commons is the one that's going to keep my attention for longer.  Finger's crossed!

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