Wednesday, October 3, 2012

IWSG - Can a scatter-brained writer find success?

Can a scatter-brained writer find success?

This is a question that haunts me on a regular basis, and hits me hard if I have any other doubts going on. (so, pretty much all the time)

Can I concentrate on a project long enough to bring it to a fully polished finish that is saleable?

I hope so. I'm trying. Champion in the Darkness is slowly coming to life.

But I have all these other ideas popping up constantly, plus several other projects waiting in the wings like:
On One Wing (crummy working title) - the sequel to Champion in the Darkness. It's in rough draft form and waiting for second draft status.
Refined by Fire - third book in the Champion series. It's only in outline/scraps of idea form.
The Identity of Captain Wrath, the novel - a wacky space opera scifi that makes me laugh to myself during the day so that other people at the grocery store give me a wide berth. It's fully outlined, and has several short story and vignettes written for it already. Can you say I think about this book every single day even when I'm trying to concentrate on my main project and it's driving me nuts?
The Great Glory - a novel about Duke Wenceslas (like King Wenceslas from the Christmas song but more based on his real life in early 900a.d.) - this is a 1/4 written mess, with notes that I write out from different resources randomly (like just last week at the library).
Chameleon - a shapeshifter story that I started filling out with an outline . . . currently on hold, but I still daydream about it now and then.

Plus, a myriad of other short story and poem ideas . . .

Oh, and that old story, War, Inc. (written before the poorly done movie, and after the original video game (between 1998 and 2001)) - it's scifi novel that was written over the course of three years, and had several messy 2nd draft starts that I never finished. If I unearth that one from it's storage space in my closet, I'll need a new title, and a lot of determination. However, I still love the characters and I miss them like old friends now and then. (more crazy writer talk)

So, can a scatter-brained writer find success? What do you think?

So far, this post by Angie at Notes from the Writing Chair helped cheer me up: One Thing at a Time (Or Not)


E.J. Wesley said...

Absolutely! Or at least I hope so, because I'm very similar. lol

I really get how frustrating/stifling it can be to not jump on the next story idea as it comes. (Sometimes it literally hurts me to not write a few pages, because I think it needs to get out there before it disappears--or maybe my brain just digests it?) Anyway, one trick I've developed is keeping a notebook with nothing BUT story ideas in it. If something exciting comes to me, I give myself permission to stop what I'm working on and write some notes down.

I do it longhand, with pen and paper, on purpose, as I know I won't fiddle with it for hours like I would on a computer. (I get hand fatigue pretty easily. :-) I also keep a folder in my bookmarks on the computer so I can easily favorite things that inspire me. Between the two, I've found I can curb my creative impulses a little when I should be working on finishing other projects.

Tyrean Martinson said...

EJ - Great idea on how to handle all the various ideas that pop up!

L.G.Smith said...

Yeah, it's tough when there are several ideas shouting for attention. I usually get drawn to the one I'm most passionate about and let the others falter for awhile, but I know others who enjoy flitting from project to project. Scatterbrains can absolutely find success!

Tamara said...

I absolutely think you can find success and, honestly, I'm super envious. I've always wanted to be one of those writers with a million ideas, but I never have been. My ideas are pretty slow to come.

I think it's neat that you have so much going on. I guess my advice would be to maybe devote different days to different projects. I'm not sure how fast you'll get it done, but maybe it would help to know exactly where you brain should be on any given day. :)

Good luck with everything!!!

Writer Pat Newcombe said...

Absolutely! The more scattered the better, I'd say! Shows your imagination is working just fine. You just have to use some focus to stay with one project at a time but it doesn't stop you thinking or planning another!

Tyrean Martinson said...

LG - I get drawn to one and then another . . . but I think it is good to follow passion.

Tamara - good idea! If you are looking for creativity boosters, check out LG's post today. It's really good.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Pat - Thanks for the awesome encouragement!

Anonymous said...

I think it can. But, I have three stories in different stages and as well as a blog, some short stories and a job that pays the bills and I am not a multi tasker. But, it helps to have clear in your head where each project is and what each one needs and you seem to have that down. So, you can do it. Deadlines might help, too. Good luck.

Annalisa Crawford said...

Wow, what a lot of projects - you've got your whole career right there on this page! Anyway, who says you have to do one at a time? Working between a couple of projects might be the way that works best for you - everyone is different. Don't try to change, go with it for a while and see if it works. If it doesn't, then you can write another post :-)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

All of them sound good! You know I want to hear more about Captain Wrath.
And that old story? Be ironic if you rewrote it and it was your first book, wouldn't it? (Been there, done that.)
I think you'll still find success!

Tyrean Martinson said...

sydney - Goals and deadlines help - that's for sure, although I'm currently overdue on one my deadlines . . .I'm still working towards it.

Annalisa - Thanks for the encouragement! It seems to be what works best for me so far . . . but I'll let you know if I can finish my current "main" project.

Alex - yes, it would be ironic - but I think it's still in a "holding pattern" at the moment. And I'm glad you're interested in Captain Wrath! Thanks!

Allison said...

haha, I definitely want to hear more about Captain Wrath! I think there is a place on the shelves for us scatter brained writers, yes :)

Allison (Geek Banter)

Karen Lange said...

I think so! I often have many ideas running through my head, so I try and write them down, wherever I am, and then look them over later. It takes a lot of self discipline to stay focused and organized, but we can do it! :)

M Pax said...

Definitely. I have several projects flitting in my head. Ideas I don't yet have time for, get jotted down in my idea journal. Maybe I'll even buy a journal for it and start making more intensive notes.

I wrote a series and the first book of another series [none of which have seen the light of day] before starting to publish.

It was actually a very nice rejection that sent me in the direction I went.

Anonymous said...

Well. First of all... Scatterbrained, you are not. Busy, multi-tasking, yes. And yes, you will find success. You are so awesome, Tyrean and I am so blessed you are my friend. You are wise. I have nothing to add on the writing end. I cannot write myself (as you know). I just can't believe you are even talking to us mortals! ha, ha

Susan Roebuck said...

You're so lucky with all these ideas popping up - mine come slowly and painfully :-)
I suppose it might be best to concentrate on one and get it finished, otherwise you're going to get frustrated. But you're lucky you've got a load of others in the pipeline so no worries there!

michelle said...

You are so lucky!! So many different and interesting ideas vying for attention. This gives you endless options and when you feel stuck with one, you can hop to the next, which means each one gets a break and you can return with a fresh perspective...

Tyrean Martinson said...

Allison - Good!

Karen - Glad to hear I'm not alone, and I love your attitude!

Anonymous - I think I know who you are . . .and mere mortals, yeah right. I think I might be messaging supermom, am I right?

Susan - I think having one idea at a time could be a blessing.

michele - Thanks! I like having lots of ideas, but sometimes they can get hard to keep track of . . .