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Idea Overload (1 Viewer)

Ajoy

Senior Member
I just wrote a short story for a writer's group that I'm in and I'm pretty sure it's a first draft synopsis for a middle grade novel that I now want to write. I'm deep into a current novel project and have another, related one on deck, so this newest idea is waiting impatiently in my overflowing ideas document (it got put in the 'next up' position). I go through periods of time (like now) where the ideas just flood me and I wish I had so much more time and could write faster! I'm thankful to know I have story fodder that will last me for years and years, but the experience is both exciting and frustrating. It even overwhelms me at times, distracting me from forward progress, though I've become structured enough in my writing routines that it usually only costs me intermittent and short lived disruption these days.

Can anyone relate to any of this experience? How do you manage it? And to those who've learned to juggle more than one project, what are your secrets?
 

KatPC

Senior Member
Hi @Ajoy i have just stopped a creative spurt, writing 7 short stories in 2 months and it was stressful, tiring and also troubling. It got to a point i had to forcibly stop myself from writing anymore as what I was writing felt awful and i had a lot of negative thoughts about my own self.

I literally stopped all writing and forum for a week and have just returned to editing old stories before i go back to the stories i created in this time. Much better now though but this creative spurt was a lot different to the last one. Not sure why.
 

Llyralen

Senior Member
Hi @Ajoy i have just stopped a creative spurt, writing 7 short stories in 2 months and it was stressful, tiring and also troubling. It got to a point i had to forcibly stop myself from writing anymore as what I was writing felt awful and i had a lot of negative thoughts about my own self.

I literally stopped all writing and forum for a week and have just returned to editing old stories before i go back to the stories i created in this time. Much better now though but this creative spurt was a lot different to the last one. Not sure why.
I hope you feel better soon. Are the topics you are writing dark? Or no, just too much and not enough self-care? I wish I had more on page like you now have.
 

Llyralen

Senior Member
I just wrote a short story for a writer's group that I'm in and I'm pretty sure it's a first draft synopsis for a middle grade novel that I now want to write. I'm deep into a current novel project and have another, related one on deck, so this newest idea is waiting impatiently in my overflowing ideas document (it got put in the 'next up' position). I go through periods of time (like now) where the ideas just flood me and I wish I had so much more time and could write faster! I'm thankful to know I have story fodder that will last me for years and years, but the experience is both exciting and frustrating. It even overwhelms me at times, distracting me from forward progress, though I've become structured enough in my writing routines that it usually only costs me intermittent and short lived disruption these days.

Can anyone relate to any of this experience? How do you manage it? And to those who've learned to juggle more than one project, what are your secrets?

I get lots of ideas, but luckily you're actually writing yours. That's wonderful! My only advice with lots of idea is just to make sure to write out the full outline and character ideas if you've got it in your head, so that you don't lose any of it while working on other things. I keep my ideas notebook with me. Or maybe that's now how it goes for you?
 

Ajoy

Senior Member
I get lots of ideas, but luckily you're actually writing yours. That's wonderful! My only advice with lots of idea is just to make sure to write out the full outline and character ideas if you've got it in your head, so that you don't lose any of it while working on other things. I keep my ideas notebook with me. Or maybe that's now how it goes for you?
My ideas page is a bit messy--some with just a few words, some with a rambling paragraph, some just a numbered list of notes. I like the idea of outlining for a better/easier to understand record of all the key ideas. I also have this ridiculous habit of texting myself a long strand of thoughts that occur to me randomly. I eventually transcribe it into my notes page when the text gets too unwieldy (my mind's a bit of a hot mess, but somehow it all works).
 
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Llyralen

Senior Member
My ideas page is a bit messy--some with just a few words, some with a rambling paragraph, some just a numbered list of notes. I like the idea of outlining for a better/easier to understand record of all the key ideas. I also have this ridiculous habit of texting my self a long strand of thoughts that occur to me randomly. I eventually transcribe it into my notes page when the text gets too unwieldy (my mind a bit of a hot mess, but somehow it all works).
If there is a fire... other than my family and pets, you know what I'm diving for...ideas notebook!
 

Ajoy

Senior Member
Hi @Ajoy i have just stopped a creative spurt, writing 7 short stories in 2 months and it was stressful, tiring and also troubling. It got to a point i had to forcibly stop myself from writing anymore as what I was writing felt awful and i had a lot of negative thoughts about my own self.

I literally stopped all writing and forum for a week and have just returned to editing old stories before i go back to the stories i created in this time. Much better now though but this creative spurt was a lot different to the last one. Not sure why.
I can really relate to some of these feelings. There have been times when I’ve had to step away from writing and also times where I’ve gotten stuck in that new ideas place for way too long. I’ve had a pretty structured routine for a while now and have been writing effectively as a result, but there’s always a little fear of falling back into the struggle again.

It sure can be tricky to find the sweet spot with writing and state of mind sometimes. I hope you’re able to feel some resolution in relation to your situation soon.
 

TheMightyAz

Staff member
Mentor
I just write a pithy remark that hopefully encapsulates the premise of the idea and go back to writing what I'm currently working on. If I dwell on the new idea, I get too distracted.
 

Lawless

Senior Member
where the ideas just flood me and I wish I had so much more time and could write faster
I have more than 30 novel ideas waiting for its turn. It's very sad to think I won't probably live long enough to write all the novels I'd like to write (because undoubtedly new ideas will keep coming).

It's hard to advise how to deal with it. At some point in my life, I somehow realized the general principle that I don't have enough money for everything I would like to have, so I have to first buy the item I want most, then the next most important thing, then the next, and so on. Eventually, the money will be spent and I won't be able to buy the next item on the list, but I will know that I have spent the available money on the things that are more important to me than the ones I didn't buy.

It's the same with time. There's not enough of it to do everything I would like to do, so I have to to spend it on the more important activities and and not on the less important ones. Not very easy, but I'm doing the best I can.

As for novels, every idea is written down in a separate file, and I have chosen two I like best to work on. The others have to wait. It's a pity but I know the ones I'm working on are more important to me than the ones that are waiting. And they won't disappear anywhere because the ideas have been written down.

This is the best solution for working with limited resources I've been able to find so far. And it is good to know I'll never run out of ideas what to write about.
 

Theglasshouse

WF Veterans
I am using prompts nowadays as its an easy way to start the story. I combine 3 prompts and try my best to interpret the prompt in a unique way. That way I would not run out of ideas. This leads itself to write a quick draft.
 
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Llyralen

Senior Member
I just wrote this on another thread yesterday, but Stephen King says he uses time to figure out which of his ideas are the best. The good ones stick around. He even had an analogy with big rocks and sand and a sieve, the big ideas are the big rocks. This is true, in my experience as well.

EDIT: Oh shoot! It wasn't rocks, it was breadcrumbs and Stephen King disapproves of idea notebooks! Ha!
It's tip #5.
 
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Ajoy

Senior Member
One benefit of dealing with idea overload, is that if I stay organized when handling it, it's a time when I often come up with solutions to holes in my story ideas.

I've known the large arc for the series I've planned to follow the book that I just wrote (it also stands on its own), but I've not been able to get a clear image of how many books it was going to take me and what the arc structure under that one big arc needed to be. Tonight, while working on a final read-through of the latest draft of my novel, something triggered one idea that led to another and another until I could see the way through the whole series and how it needed to be patterned to culminate at my planned series climax. I'm so pumped about this...and of course also overwhelmed and impatient. I just can't wait to finally see the full vision come to life, but I'm also happily working on trying to get this first book published. Again, there's just not enough time for all the projects and ideas! :)
 
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