Sheesh – who’d of thought? Huh?
Recently on Lois Winston’s blog I wrote about being flexible when it comes to changing your original plan for your writing career. Plan A was my Odelia Grey series. Plan B was adding the Ghost of Granny Apples series. Plan C involved the vampires. Flexibility is a good thing. But to what degree? Just how far can one bend before one breaks?
Maybe the title for this blog should really be “Somebody Stop Me Before I Hurt Myself.”
You see, I’m hearing voices again. Well, truthfully, I never stopped hearing voices. And just to be clear, I’m not talking about the type of voices that tell me to go to the roof of a high rise and start picking off people on the street below with a rifle sporting a telescopic sight. I’m not even talking about the voices that tell me that another piece of pie won’t hurt. No. I’m talking about the voices only writers hear. The voices that whisper new and hopefully clever ideas for books and characters.
For the past couple of years I’ve had an idea for another book percolating in my brain. It’s edgier and darker than anything I’ve written yet. I’m not even sure it’s a series. Could be a stand alone. I’m not even sure it’s a mystery. Could be a thriller. Could be a character study about people and their secrets. Lately, this book has been nagging at me. I can see scenes floating in the deep space of my brain like orbital debris. I keep batting it away. I tell it I’ll get back to it later, after I turn in vampire book #2, do the final edits on Odelia book #6 and finish Granny Apples book #3. But I can see it tapping its fictional foot in impatience, arms crossed, clearly in a snit.
If that wasn’t bad enough, I also have whirling around in my head an idea for a fun, romantic caper series, that could also be a mystery series. It’s luring me with laughs and the promise of a good time.
Both of the above ideas have gotten into a shoving match to see which will be deemed Plan D and which Plan E. Off on the sidelines, the vampires are snarling with bared fangs. Granny’s annoyed and threatening to never materialize again. And Odelia … well, I can’t really repeat in polite company what Odelia has to say about the whole matter.
And the thing is, I have two other book ideas that are also waiting in the wings, but with a lot more grace and patience that these other two.
Okay Plans D and E contestants, here’s how it’s going down. If and when I have an open slot in my writing schedule, one of you will have your day at the keyboard. It won't be today. Nor tomorrow. It won't even be during the rest of this calendar year. So cool your jets before my brain freezes and crashes like the old and overtaxed hard drive it is and I’m forced to hit my mental delete button, sending you hurtling into the black hole of forgotten ideas.
And, trust me, no one wants that.
Yesterday, on this very blog, Alice Loweecey discussed the same topic, that of controlling new ideas that threaten our focus on our current work in progress. Alice likened her buds of promising plots to runaway, aromatic herb plants, while I compared mine to psychotic episodes. Obviously, Alice's ideas are more mannerly and come from the right side of the tracks. But whether your new ideas are members of a gardening club or members of a motorcycle gang, the struggle to keep our attention on the task at hand without squelching fresh creativity is something that plagues us all.