Thursday, November 10, 2011

So Many Ideas…So Little Time

Just to forewarn you, I wrote this post last night when I was, let's just say a little moody.  It could possibly be classified as a rant.  Anyway:  Enjoy it for what it is...

I have only been writing fanfic for about two years now, so you probably won’t get a lot of blog posts from me offering tons of advice.  If anything I’ll be asking for help or sharing my frustrations.  I still feel like I have so much to learn.  Where’s Yoda when you need him? 

I find myself stymied lately by a problem that Zyra tells me isn’t a problem at all.  But like any other disorder or ailment, I say she should walk a mile in my shoes before she passes judgment on my suffering. 

Just what is my problem?  I have too many ideas. 

In the beginning I was struck with inspiration and I saw that inspiration through until I had posted an entire story.  Oh, I remember those days fondly.  Those were the good old days, the times I can now talk about and preface every sentence with, “Back in the day…” 

Now, I haven’t even typed up a rough draft of some idea before another creeps up into the limelight vying for my attention.  I cannot ignore it.  History has only proven to me that if I don’t write what comes to me when I have it, I’ll just lose it.  So, I’ve abandoned one incomplete story for the tantalizing idea of another one, only to do it all over again come morning.  It’s a vicious cycle and left in its wake is nothing but incomplete conversations and unfinished scenarios.

And what happens when I revisit them?  Well, let me tell you, it’s so very hard to go back and rekindle that flame.  It’s like returning to a high school boyfriend.  It’s nearly impossible to find what you had seen in the thing in the first place.  Now my hard drive is riddled with pathetic orphans of ideas.  I feel a maddening desire to just throw them all together into some sort of twisted gumbo of a story - an anthology of deserted dreams.

Sometimes I think I’m not that far off from my answer.  As if maybe I am trying to build a massive story arc of events and I’m unable to see the forest for the trees.  I also wonder when I became so damned self-critical.  I know Zyra posted a topic that went something along the lines of “They don’t all have to be Amazing”.  I think she did that for me.  I think she’s tired of hearing me beat myself up and complain. 

Back in the day this never happened…

Okay, I guess my rant is complete.  Time to move on to another idea, frustration or innocuous topic.  Just one thing, though:  If there is anybody out there that can relate, I'd love to hear it.  You know what they say about misery, well, it's totally true!


  1. Ha, Push! I sooooo can totally relate. Ask Zyra what I was emailing her about yesterday. Yep, exactly this. Very funny.

    I've been running into the same issue lately. I barely start on one idea when one or even more come pouring in.

    I'm not sure I have an answer yet. I think it is a good thing so many ideas are pouring in. I have heard creative people tend to have more ideas, just not all of them are good or need to be done if that makes sense.

    For me, it may eventually require some discipline to set aside the new idea until I complete what I am working on now. I hear you about putting the idea aside and it not having as much juice later. But I may have to try it. I have one larger story that I want to get done. It's too good not to.

  2. See, I don't have this problem. I can go for months without a single idea and I usually don't even bother trying to come up with them when I'm just not feeling it. I don't usually get to squash ideas that I've had later on if I don't like them when I look back because usually it's all I have so I might as well write it!

    I'm my own worst enemy on the "amazing" thing, too. I have yet to come up with an amazing idea. So if I didn't write the mediocre ones, I wouldn't write.

    I think when you finally do start writing you shouldn't be writing with the fear of something else sneaking up on you and making you not continue/finish what you're currently working on. You've completed quite a few other stories and at least one that was absolutely epic in length. You ARE capable of finishing, and you will again.

  3. Zyra, your ideas are hardly mediocre. Just saying.

  4. I do this alot, especially writing music. I literally have hundreds of ideas stored on my computer, but I have maybe 8 complete songs I've actually committed to over the years, some just because I had someone intervening along the way. I always say 'I'll come back to it, after I get this other idea down' and I never do. I hate it. I feel like if I interrupt the flow of something, it just gets severed completely. But it's hard because every idea keeps stemming off the other.

    Though I'll say, I feel like writing is easier to come back to and finish, maybe because I can see everything laid out in front of me. But I never go for giant stories, just small things I know I can manage.

  5. Maybe that's part of the secret, to keep things to a size we can manage? Maybe then the interruption would be less disruptive?

  6. Okay, I hope you know how tantalizing it is hearing about all these orphaned stories! I know you don't actually, like, work for me, but would it help if I said lots of corporate things like, I need that on my desk pronto? Actually, I'm a teacher, so I'm a little better with threatening detention and phone calls home.
    I'm just joking around. Hobbies are supposed to be fun, don't beat yourself up too much about not producing at a fast enough clip.

  7. I've tried threats. They don't work. Maybe I should try harder. It's ok, I know she'll get to them. She doesn't know it, but I do.

    Thanks for the vote of confidence on my ideas. Although I do sometimes look back and think, "Did I really write a story about Han being the sexiest man alive for a magazine? I should take that down..."

  8. Zyra, I LOVE 'Sexiest Man Alive' and you best not take it down!

    I don't think threats work, IDK what works!

    Elivagar, I liked how you said one idea stems from another, that def seems to be the case for me!

    AmaraZ, I think discipline may be my problem because as Historyland said, this is SUPPOSED to be fun! But I do think I need to get stern with myself!

    Actually, I think I know what my problem is...and yes, I'm just going to leave it at that. :-)

  9. Well, that is true. It is supposed to be fun. I tend to be a little all over the place so I'm sure a little structure wouldn't hurt me.

    Aw, c'mon now? You're not gong to share? =)

  10. Yes, I'll share...I'm just a comment hog.

  11. Just kidding! I just told Zyra that I think what's blocking me from continuing my post-ROTJ stuff that I have so much written for, is that I have to decide what happened on the way to Bespin. The Did They or Didn't They? debate, which I think I have decided on but can't really commit to.

  12. You think a block on your current story is causing the distraction? Interesting.

    You could always take a poll on what happened on the way to Bespin.=)

  13. Great idea on the poll!

    Actually, I don't know if I ever want to write a trip to Bespin, but I have to decide what happened on the way there, I think.

  14. Wah? Sexiest Man Alive rules!

    Push, close your eyes and pick a side.

    Committing to one or the other doesn't have to mean you 100% agree with it. I realize it's a pretty big fork in the road, but I guess if I were you, I would go with the one I felt I could milk the most. I don't really know what I'm talking about, I'm just attempting to pull more stories from you. ;)

  15. Yeah, Zyra's already told me that I could write it one way and then write it another way. Yeah, easy for her to say!

  16. I never said you had to like, write two entirely separate stories and choose one. Just that if you write it one way now and decide later on (days, weeks, months, years from now) that you really think it should be the other way, then write something the other way.

    Sexiest Man Alive doesn't get much love from a pure traffic standpoint. I think the title makes people assume it's stupid.

  17. Well, it's not. I totally love Sexiest Man Alive!

  18. I guess I'm one of those people who wouldn't call too many ideas a problem at all! I'm lucky when I get one idea that inspires me enough to actually sit down and write it, and especially with fanfiction for some reason, I tend to write something, either finish it or hit a brick wall, and then kind of feel like I've said what I wanted to say about that particular set of characters for awhile. It's kind of frustrating. I really envy those authors who post responses to challenges once a week or so...I'm just not that prolific!

    One of the things I guess I DO do is start a story with one idea, then get another idea and try to cram them all into the same story. Beyond Repair was supposed to be I think 6 chapters, about Luke, Artoo, and eventually Vader. Then I decided Han needed a subplot which meant Leia had to be in it too and Lando was a part of Han's arc and Yoda got thrown in there somehwere...etc. I just threw all of those ideas into one story, so that's something you could try?

    But of course some ideas aren't really compatible, and if you've got two ideas competing for attention and one's lighthearted romantic comedy and the other's seriously dark angst, it might not always work in every situation?

    I just think it's amazing to HAVE so many ideas though. And I don't know if I've read Sexiest Man Alive... *adds to reading list*

  19. I think you might have another blog post in here too - what to do when you are blocked. Just a thought.

  20. Oh, good idea on the post. I can probably handle that one. Although I don't necessarily take the proactive approach!

    Hikari, I'm more like you here. Not a lot of ideas. I sometimes have just little scenes that have no context and wouldn't even work as a stand-alone story that I've been able to sneak into other things. Actually, I think a few of those I actually stuck into the joint story. I think at this point I only have one sort of beginning to something else that could be turned into a longer story but I haven't yet. (don't get bent out of shape, Push, you read it already) Aside from that and the current story I'm writing/posting there are no other ideas!

    See, I bet you were deterred from reading that story by the title/summary!

  21. a) I am totally committed to writing both sides of the Bespin question.
    b) if I could just stop thinking up other things that happened on the way to Bespin that totally don't fit either of my answers to this question
    c) and if only I could find that d@mn quickie I wrote for this blog challenge I would send it to someone to post
    d) and please someone reassure me I didn't accidentally save it on some work-related location by accident??????

  22. e) OMG what if I saved it to my daughter's flash drive that she uses for school?

  23. I don't have anything to add except to say that while I would of course be horrified if I were in your shoes, julz, and wondering what the heck happened to my story and where I might have saved it (I've sent a few e-mails and then immediately panicked that I may have attached something I shouldn't have - but that hasn't happened, thankfully) I was really laughing when I read that :) I do hope you find it and I really hope it didn't fall into the wrong hands!

  24. Julz, I hope you find it and come away unscathed and then email to me or Zyra so we can all read it! :-)

  25. Thx for your support. It is freaking me out bcs I KNOW I wrote a whole scene setting bit to get them into the cockpit. And all i can locate is three paragraphs of smut.

  26. I guess 3 paragraphs of smut is better than nothing. =) Do hope you find it. For me, I'm glad things are in only one of two places and both are strictly mine.

  27. That'll teach me to try and go hi tech.

  28. Can you really still not find the rest? Are you sure you saved it somewhere? I know once or twice in the past I've accidentally saved something over another file of the same name and lost some stuff that way. But like amara, I'm not really in a position to accidentally save my stuff somewhere someone else would find it. I do fear accidentally attaching one of those documents to an e-mail to an unintended recipient. Oh, but I do remember once I had my computer open to an excel spreadsheet. So, you know when your computer does annoying things like leaves in the search box what your last search was (no biggie if you were searching for "soup recipes" but rather not seen if you were searching for, "Han Leia honeymoon" or something like that. Well, mine also got in the habit of automatically saving copied text to the "clipboard" which would show up in the corner of my excel spreadsheet, you know, ready for use for whatever reason. It was a very small bit of writing but it definitely said something about Han and Leia, fortunately not a sex scene or anything, but someone was looking at my computer (they were supposed to be at the time, not being nosy, and I just hadn't noticed that stuff) and then I noticed it and I swear my heart was pounding so fast for like an hour wondering if they'd seen it and what the heck they'd make of it. I don't know if it was even noticed because obviously there was more important stuff on the spreadsheet to be looked at, and I don't ever intend to ask him.

  29. it's entirely possible I didn't save it or saved it over something else.

    I'm afraid my computer did that thing where it remembers the last folder you saved things to and instead of saving the fic to my flash drive, it saved it somewhere out on the server where I was saving other stuff for, you know, legitimate work related reasons. and one day someone else in my dept is going to wander into some folder on the T drive and disover random quickie #2.

    maybe if I can reconstruct it I'll feel better at least that it saw the light of day?

  30. If you can't find it, reconstructing goes without saying. Get to work!

  31. Reconstruct. Definitely reconstruct. Hell, even the Empire rebuilt the Death Star...

  32. Lol, Push. I guess a back-up plan isn't a bad idea, huh?

    But I agree, Julz. Reconstruct.