Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Unicorns Are So Distracting

I'm sitting in a meadow, admiring the beauty and meandering through the wildflowers. It's a familiar meadow, comfortable. If I just keep strolling along, I'll reach the other side. That's my plan. It's a promise I made to myself. I just need to focus and not get distracted. And then...

Ohmygoshohmygosh!! A sparkly unicorn!!

It promises me adventure and candy-coated dreams. It says we'll fly off to an enchanted land, just the two of us. We'll see a world I can only imagine, it says. It entices me with a shake of it's head and a wink. And a swish of that flowing, shiny tail.

So shiny.

But I can't, not when I made a promise to stay in my familiar meadow. I dream of seeing the other side someday. It's something I set my mind to and I can't stray now, not when I've gotten this far already.

Or can I?

My meadow is my current WiP - familiar and comfortable. I've thought about so many possible plot turns, the major steps along the way. I want to see the other side of the meadow. But that unicorn - it's just so tempting. It's this shiny idea that's been sneaking into my thoughts. It's so distracting and so exciting and how I just want to hop on it's back and ride to that magical new land.

*flails* What do I do? I'm afraid of leaving this story - one that I love - and not ever coming back. I could write a few pages of the new idea. But will that satisfy? Will I want to keep going deeper until I can't find my way back to my old WiP?

Worst of all, this happens right in the middle of NaNo month when I made a pledge to write 50 pages this month. And now all I can think of is this shiny idea, and my old WiP has lost a bit of its luster in comparison.

How do you handle a shiny new idea with bad timing? Seriously, it's so inconsiderate.


Adam Heine said...

I know people who can jump from one idea to the next without a problem, but not me. If I let myself go to a new idea, the old one will always look, well, old.

So I let myself get the idea out. I'm allowed to brainstorm, daydream, note-jot, research, world-build...basically anything except do the actual writing. Once the ideas are down, I'm not afraid that I'll forget them, and I go back to my WiP until it's done.

K. Marie Criddle said...


(I say indulge yourself! Who knows, this could be the story that pops out fully formed in a matter of weeks. Or not! Whatever, writing should be SHINY UNICORN)

Keriann Greaney Martin said...

Adam - I think I'm like you. I can feel my old WiP slipping away the more I focus on the new idea. Plus it doesn't help that I'm a bit stuck. I already jotted down a bunch of notes for the new idea, so it'll be there when I'm ready. I think I need to just push forward with the old WiP at least until I get to a more confident place with it.

Marie - Heehee, I KNEW you would like the unicorn! Maybe if I get to a more confident place with my old WiP I'll let myself indulge in this new idea. I don't trust myself yet!

L. T. Host said...

I want a unicorn so. bad.

Or a pegasus. I'll take a pegasus, too.

Most useless comment ever, I know... but that's what I get for procrastinating.