Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Distractions Made Easy

I love to write. I love to fill my hours by baring my brains on an otherwise blank screen, fleshing out characters and dialogue, scenes and ideas. I love the subtle ticking noise my keyboard makes as letters form words and then sentences on my screen. I love the satisfaction I get from a piece well written and usable.

I hate when I'm working on a project and get an idea that I really want to work on more... especially when I'm almost done with said project and absolutely need to finish it (I am under threat of losing my computer again... thanks fiance!)

When this happens, I encounter a big ugly roadblock in my head. The ideas are still there, but they feel pale and flimsy next to Big Shiny New Idea. Imagine you just got your first computer, and it is 64-bit (pixelated), all the game music sounds straight from the original Nintendo and it runs so slow you can make yourself a full meal before it finishes booting. But imagine it's also the only computer you've ever seen and therefore is a marvel of mankind.

Then picture that about a week after you got that awesome (horrible) new computer, someone plunks down with the newest Alienware with a processing speed so fast it literally tears the clothes from your body and a graphics card that makes you feel like what you see everyday with your real eyes is actually a poorer resolution than what is on your screen. Also, that computer can revive Beethoven from the grave and make him compose a brand new musical score just for the occasion. It also makes Julienne fries. In five seconds. No potatoes needed.

That is how I feel when these new ideas crop up. I am horrible at finishing stories. I am about 2-3 chapters away from finishing the 1st manuscript of Chains of Memory yet... it is SO hard to get it down.

Everything distracts me. My computer connects to the internet - I play Facebook games. I have to work, the puppy whines, the puppy farts (a VALID EXCUSE), I'm hungry, I'm tired, I need another pop, I have to go to the bathroom because I just drank six pops... all because I want to work on another idea.

I can't though. I have to finish this one. I know, you'll say - step baaaaack. Give it tiiiiime. If I do that, I'll never finish it. It's that simple. The whole idea will simply fall off the face of the earth. It's just how I roll.

Meanwhile, I've been accepted into an anthology, the first draft of which is due February 1st. It seemed so far away back on January 10th... For the three of you who read my blog, and who may not read Derek J. Canyon's... it's the Twelve Worlds anthology and we're donating the proceeds to charity. I'll touch on it more as we get closer to publication. For my piece, I've done 1.7k words on it (it has to be between 3-7k) but I'm not sure I like the voice. I may switch to third person and rewrite.

Here is how I'm standing on what I want to write right now:
New, Shiny Idea
Older, Still Sparkly Idea
Anthology Draft (Tentatively: Sleepeater)
Chains of Memory

I think it's unfair New Shiny Idea is being an attention hog. Didn't anyone ever teach it manners?


  1. Haha, I am VERY familiar with this phenomenon and OFTEN give into it. Usually after shiny new idea wears thin I return to slightly worn old idea and realize--it's good to be home. But yeah, near the end of a novel, I just sprint, no working on other ideas or books when I've got under 15k words left to write.

    Great, funny post. Can't wait to read your book when it comes out (for the umpteenth time)...

    An E-Publisher's Manifesto

  2. Thanks, Aaron :)

    The funniest thing was that after I wrote this post, I sat down and finished the manuscript!!! Took a day of downtime and now I'm onto rewrites. The rewrites are exciting - I see how much I've grown since I started writing, and I get a chance to flesh out what I see more than "get this down before I forget!".