Writer’s Issue

Washington 094I have this issue. (It’s a good thing, but not if I can’t utilize it).

I have so many stories and ideas in my mind that at times it becomes like a mad rush of people out of the city in a scene from some b-budget volcano movie.

Creativity is a wonderful thing, until it becomes overwhelming.

Trying to focus the creativity to one story or even to start one story can take a bit of mind control.

Taking a break from my mind, so to speak, usually only makes the issue greater.

What tips do you have to focus your overwhelming creativity?


  1. Staying on task is hard. When ideas are jumping trying to get my attention, I write them down in a little spiral notebook, but when I need to pay attention to just one, I set a timer and produce creative copy for 45 minutes. Then I take a break. I do it every day. Sometimes it works…sometimes not. Those pesky little ideas have a life of their own, but owning the time helps.

  2. I made a deal with self long ago: not allowed to start something until I finish what I had started before. Sometimes this created a mad-dash to the finish, but there are worse things.

  3. I have learned that I can work efficiently on a couple of projects at once. When I get stuck on one, or need a break from it, I can take up the second with renewed energy. About the list of “10 terrific ideas”—I try to rank them according to 1. how close are they to completion 2. how marketable are they. Those that are more marketable and closer to completion rise to the top. The third trick: which one am I the most interested in? I try to somehow coordinate all these criteria…and somehow it seems to narrow the list down to two or three top things to focus on.

    • I work on several projects at once too Wendy, however sometimes it seems like find which two are the most important to work on first is a challenge. I do find that one project will stir on another project haha.

  4. Having several projects going at one time works for me, too. I keep them in separate folders. Switching from one to the other is simply a matter of changing folders. (Ok, it’s not quite that simple mentally, but physically it’s easy.) I also have one folder (actually a pile) I mark “Ideas.” If the idea tugs at me long enough, I fiddle with it. One of the most interesting pieces of advice I ever heard was this: When you get a good idea try to forget it. If it won’t go away, play with it to make it bigger and better.

  5. When I’m on idea overload, I have to get each project started to some degree, even if it’s just a paragraph or two. That way, I don’t have to worry about forgetting anything and I know they will wait for me to finish my current project.

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