My personal goal in life is to do ALL THE THINGS.
It really is, unfortunately. I’m the kind of person who sets outrageously unrealistic goals for myself, the kind of goals that make people squint at me and wonder if I’m drunk. When of course I can’t hit the bar I set up somewhere in the stratosphere, I get all pouty and whiny, and then my kind, caring and loving friends all roll their eyes and say “We told you so.”
This really affects me in regards to writing. I’m both a pantser (I do not outline or plan ahead when I write my stories) and a, uh, I don’t know what the word is, but I always have about five stories in active development at one time. (A “lots-er”? …hrmmm)
Most writers tend to work on one story at a time, finish it, and move on. I’ve tried that, because it supposedly focuses you and helps you finish faster, but mostly it ends up with me being stalled. As a pantser, I have to let the stories and characters develop organically, which doesn’t happen on a time frame for me. For Rough Trade, my re-write of my sf pirate short story, it has taken me three weeks of actively not writing it, weeks spent mulling and re-reading and thinking, to figure out what the whole major plot point is for my main character Sag. He’s on the run, but I had no idea why. It took time for the reason to work its way into my consciousness. Now I’ve got a plot to hang the whole thing on! It’s great!
…but what about those three weeks I wasn’t adding to the word count? Well, I was trying to work on other stories. But at this point I keep running into the same problem, stories that need to gestate for a bit while I figure things out. It’s just how my brain works.
Unfortunately, in my desire to finish my WIPs, I’ve prohibited myself from starting any new stories. I’m coming to realize that this is not an effective motivational tactic, because what happens is that I sit at my desk, unable to work on stories that are “in process” in my brain, and unwilling to start new ones. So I just do…nothing. Editing maybe. Blogging. But not writing which is what I need to do.
I really do need to do all the things, or everything comes to a crashing halt.
So today I’m starting a new story. Another M/F/M one that’s been percolating for a while and demanding to be written but that I’ve shoved aside for the sake of “efficiency.” This is the long game for me: it might take longer to finish my stories, but not only will they be better stories, but I will continue to have new stories in the pipeline for later.
Stop rolling your eyes at me. 😛