Somebody Call An Ambulance…

I have a condition.

Many writers may know this condition quite well. It has been the cause of much frustration in my life, but it can also be a motivation. It’s not writer’s block, specifically, but it may be related.

What I suffer from is not finishing projects that I start. Only about one tenth or less of the novels and stories that I start writing do I actually finish. I don’t understand why I am this way and it frustrates the heck out of me because I look through my computer and I see all of these unfinished novels and only a handful of finished ones.

What sucks the most is that I get so excited for a new novel I want to write, but by the time I get half-way through I usually come up with a new idea that I want to write on. By this time I usually know how the first novel is going to end, so plot holes and such are not a problem. I just lose my inspiration for that particular project as it is overshadowed by that of something new and ‘better’ as I always feel.

Right now, this is the case for both Black Ice and What If It All Means Something. I really want to continue writing…but I am dying on the inside because I have a new take on one of my first novels that I would love to get started on right away. I tried writing some Black Ice today, but I only got a few pages and my mind was on this other project the WHOLE time and I felt completely disconnected from Black Ice.

However, this ‘new’ project is more a re-imagining of one of my first novels. I actually finished this novel…and wrote two more drafts. With this is mind, there is a lot I could borrow from the third draft of this novel so I feel like finishing this one would not be bad at all. I could probably do the whole project in a month or two. With that in mind, I wouldn’t feel so bad abandoning my current projects for a while.

Besides, sometimes it’s nice to get a break from writing the same thing. I can start work on this other project and come back to Black Ice in a few weeks feeling reinvigorated and with a new perspective. It might even be better for Black Ice in the end – provided that I actually do return to writing it. I really don’t want Black Ice to join the dozens and dozens of unfinished novels on my computer…that would just be sad. I have such high hopes for Black Ice. Already, though, I have even higher hopes for this new project.

Does anyone else have this problem? You start writing one thing…then a new idea hits you and you abandon Novel #1…then maybe a new idea strikes again and you abandon Novel #2 and so on. Maybe by the time you get to Novel #7, you actually finish it, but you have six more unfinished novels before it… I guess that’s what being a writer is all about.

So why does it have to frustrate the hell out of me?

Thanks for reading!

Till Next,

-Will

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Categories: Life, Writing | 16 Comments

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16 thoughts on “Somebody Call An Ambulance…

  1. Reblogged this on The Boston Harbor Picayune and commented:
    Oh boy do I have that condition. Writers have five stories half written, five stories in their heads, and five stories the editors are screaming about getting that last rewrite on.

    But I guess that’s why we have periods or eras as writers. It seems to me that all these collective parts influence each other at least subliminally.

    Sounds like you have the gift.

  2. Will,
    I am the same way. However, I am learning how to control that urge to dump my present project and move on the next without finishing the first.
    I have several book ideas but I only work on one at a time.
    Now, there is nothing wrong with compiling notes and doing research for your new idea – that is good. You can do this without dumping Black Ice and What If It All Means Something; maybe you just need to step back from them for a short time. But it is a good idea to set a date for your return to them – some authors will shelve a project for a month.
    I hope this little tip helps 🙂

    • I never thought of actually setting a date to return to them. I usually tell myself, “I’ll give it a month or two and have a little break from them”…and sometimes it is years later before I go back, if I go back at all. I really like your setting a date tip, though. I have just decided right now to take a break from my current projects, work a little on my new one, and get back into Black Ice for sure on my February Break from classes. That would be the week of February 18th. Okay, it is now in my planner and awaiting the next month. What a good idea! Thanks for that! 🙂 And, as always, thanks for reading and commenting!

  3. You are not the only one. I have at least 4 novels that I’ve started and just have not bothered to finish (and they were from years go, back in high school!). Same with the novels I have listed on my WordPress blog. I just get wrapped up in something else (work related or with life) and then they sit on my harddrive for months. I really would love to continue them, and I’ve had an urge to do so lately, but I think relaxing and focusing on just ONE novel helps. The others will always be there when you get done. That’s what I tell myself in the end. Good luck!

    • You said “at least 4″…but I have like at least 20. It’s a little disheartening. Some just get forgotten and never looked at again…the odd one will get finished in a few years…but whatever! I try to focus on one novel…but I have so much going on in my head. Sometimes too much, I think! Thanks so much for commenting! 🙂

  4. You have joined the club 🙂 New stories are always there and will always demand to be written. I do the same thing, so do a lot of other writers. It’s why I have several stories going at once. A lot of them I come back to and finish and some are still waiting for an ending. The great thing about writing is that the stories will always be there when you’re ready to finish creating them. Don’t feel too frustrated, but do try to finish some of them as you can. A complete story feels really good.

    • Oh trust me I know how unfinished and finished stories feel haha I’ve been writing since I was very young so I’ve had a LOT of experience. I tend to have a couple novels going at once too. It’s nice to bounce back and forth between them. I usually start a novel and don’t end up finishing for a couple years because I take such a long break from writing it. Oh well…sometimes creativity has a mind of its own! 😉 Thanks for reading and commenting!

  5. monkeyfacekim

    We’re on the same boat! I have about 10-15 stories I’ve started but haven’t actually finished! One or two of these stories came from middle school, which are surprisingly good- the reason I keep them around to never finish and just think about.
    I like to bounce between several books but, in the process, decide to stop one and start a completely new novel. I had the feeling when I was writing the Ringmaster. So I took a break from it and wrote the Extras. Now I’m back and ready to complete the Ringmaster! Good luck, and maybe taking a break from your current novels and continuing an old project will help you later when you come back! 🙂

    • Haha well that’s awesome! Congrats on your writing successes…it always feels good to complete a novel. I totally understand the needing a break and hopefully it will reinvigorate me to come back to these projects in full force. I have some stories I started in elementary school that are still unfinished…but that was a long time ago and I doubt if they will ever see completion! Thanks for commenting and sharing!

  6. It’s not a strange malady, I think most writers are like that! I have four great novels that I have written with a word count of more than five thousand words! My husband does help keep my feet on the ground whenever I have ‘another’ great inspiration to start a new book, so your’re not alone!!

    • When I get an inspiration…it’s like I have to drop what I’m doing and go write that. Oh well. I guess that’s life. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  7. I have the same problem. Right now I’m working on one with another one swishing around in my brain. I take notes on the new idea instead of working on the current WIP, as I should be doing. Seems our brains work differently and I guess that’s a good thing or the writing would suck. Just means we have to be more aware of making ourselves get to work. Thanks for stopping by my blog and liking it. Gave me a chance to check yours out and I see we are similar!

    • I noticed that right away. Writing…Walking Dead…and I’m sure there’s more. 😉 Thanks for the comment, and I totally understand what you mean. It’s the ‘making ourselves get to work’ bit that can prove a challenge – for me, anyways! Thanks again for stopping by.

  8. Yes, I have this problem. How do I deal with it? Tell the Resistance to shut up. Keep plodding on. Stoking the embers of love. Thanks for making me look at this.

    • Perseverance is a good thing. Once I get inspired to write something new…I can’t tell the resistance to shut up. Maybe I could if I tried, but I give in too easily. Thanks for the comment.

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