How to deal with TMIS

26th May

For the record, that stands for Too Many Ideas Syndrome, otherwise known as “ooh, shiny things!”

I think it’s safe to say that many writers probably deal with this issue.  It makes sense, you’re a writer – you want to tell stories!  Stories that excite you and get your heart pumping and your brain reeling.  You want to create characters that make you feel something.

You have ideas! Oh so many ideas…

For me, it goes like this:  I’ll be focusing on my main project.   I’ll work on it obsessively for weeks – months even.  It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up.  The last thing I think about when I go to sleep.  I have notes on it on scrap pieces of paper, in notepads, even on my iPhone.  And then suddenly, a new idea presents itself.

New characters fill my head, cramming my thoughts with how they would act and what their backgrounds would be.  New story-lines present themselves at the most random moments and in the most awkward places.   I find myself buzzing with these new ideas, excited in a way that makes me want to stop my current project and just start typing.

I don’t want to start anything new though, I want to finish what I’m currently writing! But these new characters are loud and demand to be heard, dammit!

So, what do you do?  Do you force yourself onward in your current work?  Or do you give in to temptation and start something brand spanking new?

My solution – do both!  Well, kind of.

There’s a big fear in writing that if you don’t jot those ideas down now, RIGHT NOW, they will be lost forever.  So what I do is this;

I set aside an hour or two for the new, shiny idea and I write out a vague plotline and a list of the main characters.  I may even write out the first couple of chapters.

Then, I leave it be.

I write down just enough so that when I have finished my current project I can go back to it.   It puts my mind at ease knowing that I at least have the skeleton of the story typed up, just waiting for me to flesh it out.

There, that’s my advice!  If you have any other ways of dealing with TMIS write a comment down below and let’s have a good ol’ chinwag about it 🙂

Best wishes from cyberspace,

Rachel

 

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