Inspiration is all around and can come from many different things at any given time. If you are anything like me, then you don’t just get one idea at a time. So what are you suppose to do with the abundance of ideas that come to you? How do you decide which one to write first?
If you are working on your novel and more ideas come to you, the best thing to do is to keep going. Don’t stop to start working on the new idea, finish the novel you are working on. If you stop to start a new book every time a new idea comes along, you’ll have an endless amount of partial manuscripts and none actually completed.
When you get an idea and you are working on something else, write the idea down in a notebook, or on a napkin, or jot it into your phone, or start an ‘ideas’ folder on the computer as soon as possible and put it aside to be worked on later.
Once you’ve completed a manuscript, it’s important to put it away for a while before you start to edit so you’ll be looking at it with fresh eyes. This is when you can start working on that next idea.
If you have a handful of ideas you may be wondering what to work on next? For me, there’s always one idea that draws me more, that has a louder voice. Go with your gut, your gut knows a lot.
I find working to a deadline helps keep me focused on the one story when I have a lot of ideas all at once wanting to be written.
Most writers probably do write more than one thing at once and there is no rule saying you can’t. It all depends on you, your circumstances and your time constraints. You need to be realistic about what you can do, make realistic goals and work to realistic deadlines.
This year I have decided to focus on my short stories a lot more than I have been, so I am basically always juggling writing my short stories with my novels.
I recently completed a manuscript that was a first in a trilogy, so I am working on book 2 as well as a standalone, and I also want to start work on a MG series. I am also doing a final draft of a YA contemporary that I have been working on for a few years on and off.
So as you can see I am juggling a lot. I find writing one manuscript while editing another is the easiest to juggle. Trying to juggle more than two drives me a bit crazy. Throw in juggling blogging as well and it doesn’t leave many hours in the day.
I wouldn’t be able to write so much if I had a full time job. When I was working full time I was only working on one manuscript and a few short stories because that was all I had time for. You have to set your priorities and squeeze in as much writing as you can according to your schedule.
I know it can be frustrating to have all those ideas waiting to be written and only be able to work on a certain number of them at a time, but you are not alone, many writers feel your pain.
Remember: write your manuscript until the end, work on your new idea between edits, go with your gut, or what’s bugging you the most, when deciding what to write next, and squeeze in writing when you can. Don’t over exert yourself and be realistic about what you can do.
How about you? Are you juggling a few ideas at the moment? How do you do it? How do you choose what to write?