The idea for the novel that I’m currently writing occurred to me about 6 years ago, with brand new baby number four newly arrived around the same time, I didn’t sit in front of a computer to start making magic until about three years later. And even then, it was repeatedly shelved until recently. And while the floodgates of creativity are now open and flowing freely, there’s only one occasional hindrance: OTHER novel ideas. When it first began to happen in the initial novel writing stages, I would sort of Cliff’s Notes it: get the general idea down with getting bogged down in the fine details of a potential novel, detracting from my current one. But then, I found myself in sort of a Catch 22 situation. Later, I contemplated starting my ‘second’ novel, and completing it first. However, when I tried to go back and recreate scenes from my abbreviated notes, I found myself stunted. In some cases, I felt like I was able to embody the sentiment of my ideas, but I couldn’t recreate the perfection of the initial creation.
My current novel, however, won the cage match between the stories in my head. Novel number 2, it turns out, is a fairly sore loser, and tends to act out from time to time. Because it is a story that I want to pursue, I don’t want to ignore glimmers of genius. That being said, I want and need to actually finish my first novel, so what’s a writer to do?
I made a creative compromise. When ideas for the next story pop up, I get them down on paper. I don’t purposely delve into them in detail, but if a specific scene plays out in my head in specific detail, I get it out as succinctly and intact as I can without opening the proverbial can of ‘words.’ I don’t want to derail my current writings, but neither do I want to suffer the frustration of letting some form of initial nirvana slip through my fingers. As crazy as it sounds, I’ve had more book ideas come to me since actively writing my current novel than I have in the years I wasn’t writing anything.
So fellow writers, don’t completely ignore the younger siblings, but give the current progeny the proper attention it deserves.
Are any of you plagued by ideas for other stories?
What are some of your ideas for handling it?