One of the most frustrating parts of writing is having an accumulation of new ideas but no time to explore them.
This weekend I found myself driving for nearly fifteen hours on a fun road-trip for work – certainly nothing wrong with that. The problem occurs when I find myself staring dizzily at the road for hours on end, fueling myself with junk food, chocolate, and Coke Zero, and unable to do anything but think up new writing ideas.
It’s fun, actually. On the way to our destination, I came up with a phrase that I really liked. Sorry I can’t share it because I know there are spies in the midst ready to steal. (or maybe I’m just paranoid) But upon arrival, I sent myself an email with that phrase as the title just so I wouldn’t forget it.
Today, as I was driving home, I re-pulled that phrase out of my brain and started thinking through scenarios which might be an interesting angle to turn that phrase into a novel. I know, from a phrase to a novel is quite a jump, but that’s how my brain works.
It wasn’t long when I imagined the protagonist suddenly arriving to a tropical beach – sorry I can’t tell you how he got there or why – when all of these ideas start flooding me. Before I knew it, I was ready to give the story a sequel – AND I DON’T WRITE SEQUELS! So I went from a single phrase to two novels or more in the matter of a zoned-out driving session.
I couldn’t stop there. I arrived home, opened Scrivener, and jotted down all of my new ideas. I even started writing out some of the dialogue with three of the characters. It’s peppy and fun – and quite mysterious – very different from what I’ve done before, but I really like this idea and I want to develop it.
Here’s my reality. I am three months away from the publication of my fourth novel. I am already 2/3s into the first draft of my fifth novel. I have two major dramatic writing projects on my plate for this year. And the ultimate reality is that I have a full-time job which requires a lot. When can I get back to the fascinating beach scene?
I need to take few shallow breaths and relax. I can only do what I can do what I can do.
I do suppose that a glut of good ideas is better than a dearth of good ideas.
Hang in there, characters. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.