Somebody Call An Ambulance…Again (My Other Writing Condition)

It was way back in January when I posted “Somebody Call An Ambulance“, expressing my eagerness in starting writing projects, but my lack of interest in finishing them. I start dozens of projects on an almost scheduled basis – sometimes multiple novels a month – and I only get around to actually finishing about one tenth of them.

To me, this is a frustration.

This is a ‘condition’ (hence the ambulance).

More than any of these things, it is an annoyance. Nothing more than a  thorn-in-my-side, not-even-funny annoyance.

finish-what-you-start

(Photo credit: http://bobgroves.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/finish-what-you-start.jpeg)
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(Photo credit: http://www.killyourdarlingsatl.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/being-a-good-writer-is-3-percent-talent-97-percent-not-being-distracted-by-the-internet-writing-meme-photo-kill-your-darlings-atl1-140×140.jpeg)

But since I already ranted on this subject in the post I mentioned earlier, I thought I’d share with you one of my other writing grievances.

For any writers out there, you may already understand how frustrating it can be to not finish a particular novel. We may ask ourselves why and how this happens. For me, it’s usually because inspiration strikes me and I get inspired to write a new story which is instantly more exciting than the one that I was working on. To make a long explanation short (something I’m usually not very good at), when this happens, I find that I am so excited about the new story that I drop the old one and focus my efforts in writing the new one. Why do I feel so strongly about a thought in my head that it overpowers my desire to finish a novel that I’ve already written sometimes as much as 75,000 words in?

Well, the answer is quite simple.

Life can inspire us to write. And, when inspiration strikes, sometimes there is no hiding from it. Inspiration can be a powerful force.

562566_470215113005656_1282622559_n_large

(Photo credit: http://sassyology.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/562566_470215113005656_1282622559_n_large.jpeg)

“Get inspired and write a book”

What exactly does that phrase mean? I guess it applies to those who are having trouble getting inspired to write a book, which means that it does not apply to me.

You see, my other writing condition is getting inspired too much.

what-does-that-even-mean-jackie-chan

(Photo credit: http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/400x/23254266.jpg)

Is it even possible to be inspired too much?

Some people may mistake this for passion, but I am not so easily swayed. Let me explain.

Inspiration is not a bad thing. It’s actually an amazing, driving force that gives life to many ideas. I don’t sit around, thinking intensely hard to come up with an idea for a story. Ideas for stories just pop into my head at any given time…when I’m eating…driving…working…sitting in class…having a shower…watching a movie…listening to music…trying to focus on writing an essay…going to the washroom…

It just happens. I can’t control when inspiration strikes, and I can’t control my excitement for all of these ideas. And I’m actually glad that ideas can just pop into my head and I could start writing the beginnings of a new novel right then and there. I can’t sit around for days and plan my novel, because it gets too boring for me to write. I need to experience it as I’m writing it and, in the process of writing, I may find that certain aspects will change. To me, this is at the core of what inspiration is. Not a bad thing, really, is it?

But you see, my problem is that inspiration strikes far too often, and I end up with far too many story ideas.

Where all of these ideas are coming from…I have no idea. Am I grateful to my imagination? Of course I am. Do I also curse it? Yes. It can be a distraction.

There’s only one positive to all of this. I said I only complete about one tenth of the writing projects that I start. So, if I start writing ten novels and only finish one, to me that says something about that one novel that sets it apart from the others. There must have been something there if it made me want to push past all of this adversity from new ideas and finish it – which is why I don’t worry too much about unfinished projects because I know that 1) I have at least a few completed novels that must have something special about them and 2) I can always come back and reinvigorate my interest in any one of my dozens of incomplete projects (especially during the times when my imagination escapes me and I am left with nothing but an empty mind – those are always great days).

So, that’s my little rant of sorts on this subject. Can anyone relate?

What other writing ‘conditions’ do you feel you have? Are they hindrances or encouragements?

Do you have any writing grievances?

Thanks for reading!

Till Next,

-Will

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Categories: Life, Writing | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “Somebody Call An Ambulance…Again (My Other Writing Condition)

  1. That graffiti pic was great! It really speaks to my own tendency to dive into stories, get good and situated with characters, setting, plot, and all the other good stuff, then see a story squirrel and end up running in another direction. I’m really trying to avoid that right now. I hope my short story collaboration project will take the edge off.

    Also, I recommend the song “Infra-Red” by Placebo; it has the lyrics “Someone call an ambulance, there’s gonna be an accident.”

    • I will definitely check out that song. I have not heard it yet!
      I’ve never really been into short stories, I guess because I always take a long time to say anything and I really enjoy developing a story and its characters over 100,000 words as opposed to 10,000. I find novels easier because there is no limit, but short stories are a little bit more compressed and – in my opinion – harder to write.
      I also always envision plots that are WAY too long.
      Good luck with your collection, and thanks for stopping by my blog.

  2. shanesbookblog

    I haven’t actually attempted to write a book yet but I plan on doing just that at the end of this year. I can already tell I will be distracted and I will be getting frustrated >..< I never finish anything that actually matters, and that is a terrible habit to have!

    Luckily I regained my motivation and confidence to start writing again, (Otherwise I still wouldn't have a blog) So I am proud of myself for that, But I still need to work on my terrible issues with procrastination and never finishing anything important.

    I can totally relate!

    And you are right, you have already completed a few novels, so don't be too hard on yourself…you have accomplished a lot my new friend, and you have so much potential, I honestly believe you can do and accomplish anything you want to! Never forget that!

    • Well, we can do NaNoWriMo together and attempt to encourage one another through that challenge. Perhaps you should read this post of mine: https://allmeanssomething.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/7-tips-for-nanowrimo/ It not only pertains to NaNoWriMo, but any novel really.
      Also, you may get a laugh, or several (and don’t take me too serious, either)!
      Your kind words are always welcome but not needed. I already know how great I am.
      I mean…I don’t think I was supposed to say that.
      Maybe this is better:
      Your encouragement is heartwarming and always appreciated, friend. =D
      Well, I wish you luck as you begin planning for your novel in the coming months, but I’m sure you’ll keep me updated throughout that process.
      Keep up the great poems on your blog for NaPoWriMo!!
      Thanks man!

  3. Hey Will. Saw this post on the comment section of our page, “The Poetics Project”. I can absolutely relate to the “aborted project syndrome” you describe, though I typically write short stories, and not novels. I haven’t found a solution, except to sacrifice ten half-baked stories for one, but this hardly seems productive, especially when I measure myself against my writing idols (a depressing exercise). I mean, I’m all for quality versus quantity, but I also believe that writing, at a certain stage, is practice; a period of growth until the moment when your craft and vision crystallize in a strong piece. Speaking for myself, as long as I’m mired in project after half-finished project, I feel like I’m delaying that growth. Anyway, best of luck in your own writing! I can’t imagine writing whole novels and then moving on, so kudos.

    • I couldn’t have said it better myself.
      No matter how well written a story or novel is, it has no value until its finished. Well, maybe it has SOME value, but you get my point!
      I think it may have to do with the fact that endings are always harder than beginnings, at least that’s how I find it. It’s easier to start a story, but when you finish it you have to tie everything together. I definitely agree that we’re missing out on a major part of our development as writers if we don’t finish stories.
      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment, that also provoked a few thoughts of my own! =D

  4. barbmca

    I like what you do.. Yes I agree the ending is always harder than the beginning. I started many stories as well and never finished. Maybe one day.

    • Well thank you so much! You’ve been so kind to me the last few days. I’m really glad you’re enjoying my blog. I really am! 🙂 thank you for all the encouragement!

  5. Hi, Will! Just found your blog and I featured it on my writing page, More Ink. You can see it here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/More-Ink/140658279433800

    Happy writing to you! Robin Kalinich
    http://www.robinkalinich.com

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