This past week, I had a day which felt like the first truly successful writing day I’ve had in years. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done plenty of writing and plenty of good has come out of it, but this was the first time that the writing felt so absolutely effortless since before I had to put writing on a back burner.
And it was awesome.
Like, I’ve spent the past few days now just thinking about how in the zone I was and how much fantastic stuff I rocked through and how much I wish I could get there again.
But, of course, when it then comes to getting on the keyboard and doing the actual writing, I find myself looking toward what forms of procrastination I could get into.
What’s stupid about this whole procrastination thing, however, is that I absolutely love to write. Something about working through finding the best way to get across an idea is legitimately one of my favorite ways to spend my free time. Sometimes it may feel like a chore to get into, but after I’ve started, it’s often more of a chore to get myself to stop.
Yet, I have a little dark secret. If there’s one thing I love doing more than writing, it’s coming up with the next thing to write. Well, okay, let’s be honest, it’s not that it’s a particular hobby of mine, it’s more an involuntary action that I simply can’t stop myself from doing. Writing is a slow process, especially when you spend a lot of your time on long-form writing styles like novels. But, coming up with ideas for things to write about takes almost no time. I usually come up with a couple during a regular shower session.
The struggle then, is not dropping everything to write the new shiny idea. Just a couple weeks ago I came up with a new idea which has me so absolutely excited and I feel might quite possibly be the best thing I could ever write. And all I want to do is to stop working on everything I’m currently working on to get this shiny new idea out because of how much fun I think I could have with it.
Which, I can’t. Right? I mean, I have a deadline on a play and a book I’m nearly complete on after six years of developing. I can’t just drop that to write this goofy series of stories that I have in mind, can I?
This particular situation has happened to me almost weekly for as long as I’ve been actively writing. For a brief period, I actually would pursue these next great things when I first came up with them, trying to not bump the actual in-progress works off the development list, but just adding more stuff to write to my daily writing. I’ve had up to a dozen stories I’ve been working on at the same time at different moments in my writing history. Considering how busy of a person I am, that simply meant nothing moved forward very quickly.
In fact, I currently have thirteen different projects that I’ve done at least some amount of writing for which are sitting in my in-progress folder. Thirteen. And I just checked them all out right now and every single one of them are ones I can’t wait to get back to writing.
This is probably one of my biggest problems as a writer. One I struggle to battle against way too often. I am in a constant state of being ready to work on the next project. No matter how excited I might be about the thing I’m currently writing, I’m even more excited about the thing I’m going to write next. Which, I guess, is a good thing, but it also means that I just can’t manage to write fast enough. Because, those thirteen projects I’ve started writing are just the tip of the iceberg. They don’t include things like the absolutely most amazing bestest possible idea I came up with a couple weeks ago. They don’t even comprise a notable fraction of the ideas I’ve got in the hopper. Heck, I get probably a dozen ideas for stories a day. Only a small number of them I consider keepers, which then go into a little text document I’ve been keeping for the last decade which is filled with all of the fantastic weird little thoughts I’ve had over these ten years.
There are times in my writing where I feel like my Twilight Zone episode will be like the guy who crushes his glasses right after ending up alone in an enormous library, excited to do all the reading he could have ever wanted. Except, I guess I’d probably break my fingers as soon as my kids move out and I get to retire.
The bottom line here, folks, is that although I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time on my nearly-finished novel as I work to try to severely increase the quality of my storytelling skills, I have a few hundred stories just waiting to be told, and I sincerely can’t wait until I get to the point to be able to tell them.
Because, even if I fight against it on a daily basis, I absolutely love to write.