I'm feeling much better today -- it may have something to do with the fact that I actually went to bed at a decent time the past couple of nights rather than staying up til all hours writing. Whatever the reason, I'm glad.
This subject came to me as I was reading a Stella Cameron novel. I can't say for sure why it came to me. Why does anything pop into people's heads? Sometimes (quite often, for me) there's no rhyme or reason. It just happens. Maybe in this case, the subject came to me because one of the characters is psychic, and the heroine in one of my works in progress is also psychic. Who knows.
But I'm getting off track (no surprise there).
Some writers may view ideas as a pitfall, while others welcome them with open arms. Why a pitfall? Because if you're like me, you have story ideas popping in all the time, without warning (see earlier paragraph). And they can be burdonesome. I mean, I've got two stories in active progress right now, and one more on the back burner, and yet another in editing. I don't need any more ideas at the moment!
But regardless of what I need, they come to me anyway. And I find myself running to the nearest computer, or the nearest scrap of paper -- grocery receipt, napkin, whatever I can find -- just to get that idea down before it disappears. Because if I don't get it down, it inevitably will disappear.
So now I have a file chock full of ideas. And this is a problem. It's a problem because I want to write them all. I want to write them all, and I want to do it now. Not six months from now, when I've finished what I'm currently working on, but right now. This very moment.
But if I follow my desires, I run the risk of never finishing anything. And that wouldn't be good. How could I submit to publishers and realize my dream of publication, of seeing my work in print on the shelves of my favorite bookstore, if I never finish anything?
That's where willpower comes in. And there's another word I'm looking for, but it's escaping me right now. Dancing just beyond the edge of my consciousness and sticking its tongue out at me, while laughing hysterically as I grope for the word that refuses to come.
There seems to be a lot of things in my life that laugh at my hysterically. My pre-pregnancy jeans fall into that category, as well.
Self- discipline! That's it. Ha! Caught you, you mischievous little bugger.
Willpower and self-discipline. Neither of which could ever be considered my strong suit.
And the ideas come without warning. It might be a story posted at The Smoking Gun, or an item in the news, or a line from a song, or something I've seen or overheard while shopping. They come from everywhere. And nowhere. I might be in the shower -- lathering, rinsing and repeating -- when something just pops into my head.
Don't get me wrong. I'm grateful for each and every story idea I get. Without them, I couldn't write. But why do they all have to come at once, and when I'm not ready for them?
Sounds like I'm whining, doesn't it? Maybe I am. I'd like to think I'm not. If I go by what I tell my children, I wouldn't be able to hear myself.
I suppose that in the end, I should throw a positive light on the story ideas. They're not just ideas for a new novel. They're motivation for me to finish what I'm working on now.