Ideas Are Like Buses

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Ideas. They’re a bit like buses, aren’t they? You can sit around for ages, weeks sometimes, staring at a blank page until snow blindness sets in. Then just as you are about to surrender all hope, take the ‘writer’ part off your twitter name and use your Writer & Artist’s Year Book as a door stop, along comes an idea. Followed by another one. And another. And ….. You know what I mean.

So there they are, fifteen million and two buses all standing at the stop, and all you have to do is choose which one to get on.

Yup. That’s all you have to do.

Choose. One.

Bejeebus, but it’s difficult.

And then once you’ve made your choice, you look out the window at all those other buses, tormenting yourself with the suspicion that one of them would maybe have got you to your destination quicker AND using the more scenic route. And it looks like the one just behind you has a tea trolley manned by Vincent D’Onofrio. And it’s driven by Nathan Fillion….

So, what do you do?

If you’re anything like me you’ll sit there, staring at the miserably meagre words on your screen until they begin to resemble ants, crawling about the page, sticking out their tongues and flipping the bird at you. You get off the bus you chose (but keep a note of its number, just in case you want to go back to it later), and hop on another one, this time KNOWING you chose the right one.

Then you make the mistake of having just a quick peek out the window and….

Seriously, I always seem to get more ideas when I am already working on something, ideas that seem so much better than the work in progress. And no matter how hard I try to ignore them, they always start to whisper in my ear that the story I’m working on isn’t really that good anyway and perhaps I’d be better off throwing it in the bin and starting again.

Please tell me I’m not alone in this, and how do you cope with it?
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3 Comments

  1. alberta ross
    Feb 14, 2011

    sneak a few moments of time – work a bit of the others – WIP official will wait patiently – don’t polish new bits yet, write the outline, the scene , the plot whatever is flashing a headlight at you. Then wrap in pretty tissue lay carefully in a treasure drawer turn back to WIP. If newbies rustle in the drawer one day, give them an airing, another turn of phrase, a new jacket maybe, smooth the tissue etc. WIP will be completed(it’s not a race) and when WIP is no longer a WIP but polished gem then newbies are already small WIP’s and ready to go.

    Thank all the small gods of good fortune that ideas are jostling for space in your mind, a jungle of possibilities not a dust bowl dessert and smile

  2. writeanne
    Feb 14, 2011

    Nettie, you’re not alone 🙂 I have 2 novels in progress. One is my second adult novel and while I was working on that the inspiration for a children’s novel struck – as well as a few smaller projects. I took a set amount of time out from Novel 2 – about 3 months to attend to the small ones and outline novel 3 .

    I agree that once you start on one project – it’s like the dam bursts. It’s a bit of a juggle but good fun.

    All the best with all your projects.

    Anne

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