It seems like it’s been forever since I started my current project. It’s been about seven months since I completed the first draft of it. Since then, I’ve been editing it on and off… and on again… but mostly off. I can spout excuses that, “I got caught up with school and work… blah blah” but I know that’s not true! The truth is, I haven’t dedicated enough time to my plotting/writing/editing mostly because I’m too overwhelmed to tackle the major changes that needed to be implemented in my story.
Instead of devoting all of my attention to trying to work towards making these changes, my mind has been kind of jumping from shiny new idea to shiny new idea. I end up daydreaming and starting preliminary plotting for different shiny new ideas for a couple of days, maybe even a week, and then it fizzles out and I go back to my current project again. The thing is, I’m stuck on this as well. It’s not fun to be at a standstill like this where I want to make progress each day, but I’m not producing anything to show for it.
So… I’m not saying I’m going to abandon this project. I love the spirit of the story and the characters and the settings, but I’m having trouble making the plot compelling and the stakes high enough and I’m intimidated to tackle the themes in it. If I stick with it, I’m going to have to have to figuratively rip up the ‘70s shag carpet and install new wooden flooring. I KNOW it’ll be worth it when it’s finished, but boy will it be a challenge.
I think the reason why I’m not letting this project go so easily is because it’s the idea that I stay up at night thinking about. It’s not like those shiny new ideas that fly in and out of my mind at a moment’s notice. My current project really, truly means a lot of to me. I’ve grown so attached to it. I guess I’m afraid that in writing the next draft of the story and in changing so many things about it, I might mess up the story even more than it is already. I’ve started and quit so many projects in the past and where has it gotten me? Not with a finished book, that’s for sure!
I know the obvious answer is to just stop thinking about all this and just jump in and start plotting. So I better take my own advice!
P.S. What do you guys do in situations like this? How do you stay on track to complete your current project if you’re dealing with shiny new idea syndrome?